National Review Network - March/April 2002  

     ...arrives at a very appropriate time for many in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. Storyteller, teacher, and healing coach Diane rooks draws on her own experiences to explain the power of both telling and listening to stories as a way of moving through a grieving process on the path toward healing. Rooks writes, "Figuring out how to transform my pain was necessary for my sanity. Sharing my stories affords me the opportunity of finding ways to heal and grow and of helping others do the same."

          …a deeply moving and thought-provoking book that deals with the uncomfortable but important subject of moving on after the death of a loved one.  In sharing stories of her own loss and recovery, Rooks demonstrates how her life poignantly exemplifies the healing powers of story even as she teaches about them.

Elizabeth Schechter, Baltimore, MD  

The Midwest Book Review - January 2002

      ...a meaningful, penetrating examination of narrative storytelling as an emotional bonding and healing process. Chapters cover the positive psychological and health-enhancing effects of storytelling, from validating listeners as individuals to transforming pain an doffer hope.

      …a most fascinating read, but perhaps its highest recommendation comes from the gentle healing stories within its pages.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief 

NAPRA ReView - January/February 2002

          Counselors, clergy, and storytellers have reported that stories help to heal people who have experienced a difficult loss.  This books affirms that what we do to foster those healing stories—in ourselves and others—can help us to face difficulties with trust and hope.  Supported by many years of storywork as well as extensive research and interviews, Rooks is so convincing in part because she refers freely to her own losses, particularly the death of her young son.  From that devastating experience, she evolves a powerful mixture of theory, research, and compassionate and emotionally truthful storytelling to encourage and empower others.  Rooks affirms that stories restore the future, and offer hope—not blind hope, but the hope that grows from gleaning insights as we stumble through life.  This book will do much to convince people of all ages of the importance of participating deeply in the sharing of personal stories of grief and loss, and will enable greater acceptance and transformation of the weight of sorrow.

Antoinette Botsford, Review Editor

Storytelling Magazine – November/December 2001

          Editor’s Note: There is hardly a person in America whose life has not been touched in some way to by the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC.  People are looking for answers and for ways to deal with grief, loss and healing.  (Spinning Gold out of Straw: How Stories Heal is) …suggested as an excellent source of information and stories.

          After the sudden death of her son David, Diane began listening to, collecting and telling stories that helped her make sense out of a situation that made no sense.  Her book began as a thesis for the M.Ed. in storytelling from East Tennessee State University.  It incorporates extensive interviews research, insights and stories from folklore and personal experiences.

Grace Hawthorne, Managing Editor


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Healing Story Alliance – August 2001 Newsletter

There are a lot of books on the market about death, dying and grief work. There are also a lot of books on the market about using story in death, dying and grief work. What makes Diane's book unique is that she is a storyteller who has lost a son and has experienced, first-hand, the importance of story in her grieving process and ongoing healing. She weaves the story of her son, David's, death into each chapter allowing us the unique opportunity to move with her out of the theory of the healing art of storytelling and into reality of the healing art of storytelling.

The 12 chapters are filled to the brim with quotes and references from storytellers, authors, and other experts in grief work. Diane also includes a generous number of chapter specific stories. Anyone looking for new insights and ideas will find this book to be an invaluable resource.

Kathy McGregor, RN  


(C) Diane Rooks, 2001 - 2007