SOURCE: Author Susan Johnson Hadler

Author Susan Johnson Hadler

September 15, 2015 10:25 ET

Author Reunites Family Separated for Generations

Susan Johnson Hadler's Memoir Charts Her Journey to Find Missing Family

KNOXVILLE, TN--(Marketwired - Sep 15, 2015) - In her newly-released memoir The Beauty of What Remains, Susan Johnson Hadler describes her remarkable effort to make her family whole again. Hadler first began searching for information about her father. He was killed in Germany just before the end of WWII, when she was only months old, but her devastated mother could never speak of him, and so he was a mystery.

At age 50, Hadler traveled from Washington DC, where she lives, to Oklahoma, back home to Wisconsin, even to France and Germany -- following clues. Her father came alive to her through documents, photographs, and the stories shared by his fellow veterans and family friends.

Surprisingly, she also found two living aunts who had been separated from the family by disagreements and by the shame of mental illness. One aunt lived in New York; the other, presumed dead, was 94 and living in a nursing home after having been institutionalized for decades for what turned out to have been an episode of postpartum psychosis.

In this deeply moving book, Hadler transforms the family brokenness, making it possible for her to find the forgotten and to reunite them with the larger family, who embraced them with open arms.

Booklist said, "[Hadler's] years as a psychotherapist are evident in her measured, sympathetic treatment of the struggles faced by those in the family who used silence to cover tragedy. Both an exploration of loss and a celebration of discovering connections, The Beauty of What Remains is a moving account of one woman's efforts to make her family whole."

Megan Smolenyak, author of Who Do You Think You Are?, praised the book, saying, "If you don't believe it's possible to miss someone you never knew, Susan Johnson Hadler's quest-based memoir will convince you otherwise. The Beauty of What Remains dovetails the search for her hero father who never came home from war with that of her mysterious aunts. In seeking them, she gradually finds herself, but will leave you pondering the secrets we keep."

Susan Johnson Hadler, Ph.D. is the co-author, with Ann Bennett Mix, of Lost in the Victory, a book that broke the silence surrounding mention of fathers who died in WWII and how their deaths affected their children. She has published articles in the Washingtonian, Reader's Digest, and the Mindfulness Bell and appeared in the Ancestors series on PBS. She formerly lived and taught in Tanzania, East Africa. Hadler worked for over twenty years as a psychotherapist in Washington, DC. Please visit her online at

She Writes Press is an independent publishing company and a division of Spark Point Studio, LLC.

By Susan Johnson Hadler
Publication date: September 15, 2015
She Writes Press
ISBN (13) 978-1-63152-007-5; $16.95 U.S.; 5 1/2 x 8 1/2; Paperback; Fiction; b/w photographs included
E-ISBN 978-1-63152-008-2, $9.95

Documents and/or Photos available for this release:

Book cover for THE BEAUTY OF WHAT REMAINS: Family Lost, Family Found

To view supporting documents and/or photos, go to and enter Release ID: 391264

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