• Once More We Saw Stars

  • A Memoir
  • By: Jayson Greene
  • Narrated by: Jayson Greene
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (338 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“A gripping and beautiful book about the power of love in the face of unimaginable loss.” (Cheryl Strayed)

For fans of The Bright Hour and When Breath Becomes Air, a moving, transcendent memoir of loss and a stunning exploration of marriage in the wake of unimaginable grief.

As the story opens: Two-year-old Greta Greene is sitting with her grandmother on a park bench on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A brick crumbles from a windowsill overhead, striking her unconscious, and she is immediately rushed to the hospital. But although it begins with this event and with the anguish Jayson and his wife, Stacy, confront in the wake of their daughter's trauma and the hours leading up to her death, Once More We Saw Stars quickly becomes a narrative that is as much about hope and healing as it is about grief and loss. Jayson recognizes, even in the midst of his ordeal, that there will be a life for him beyond it - that if only he can continue moving forward, from one moment to the next, he will survive what seems unsurvivable. 

With raw honesty, deep emotion, and exquisite tenderness, he captures both the fragility of life and absoluteness of death, and most important of all, the unconquerable power of love. This is an unforgettable memoir of courage and transformation - and an audiobook that will change the way you look at the world.

©2019 Jayson Greene (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Beautiful…heartbreaking…an answer to the question: How does one survive such a devastating tragedy…a story not just of loss, but of remarkable love…life-affirming…luminous.” (Washington Post)

"His writing...is a revelation of lightness and agility.... A miracle.... A narrative of grief and acceptance that is compulsively readable and never self-indulgent." (The New York Times)

“In Once More We Saw Stars, Jayson Greene crystallizes the bravery required for parenting, the insanity within grief, the struggle and haven of marriage, the durability of love in all its forms. This is a book about how we make sense of suffering and what it means to be a family. It’s funny, lucid, and deeply generous - proof that a masterful writer can make from his own specifics a universal story with lessons for us all.” (Lucy Kalanithi) 

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What listeners say about Once More We Saw Stars

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

It will open your heart if you let it.

I’ll be the first to admit I never thought I’d go near this one. As the mom of my own two toddlers, I didn’t think my heart could take a parent’s memoir about losing his two-year-old daughter after she was struck in the head by a falling brick. But then I saw that glowing blurb by Cheryl Strayed on the cover, and I braced myself because I knew I was going in.

Listening to Jayson Greene tell the story of grieving his daughter, Greta, is like walking through a fire and coming out the other side with more love, more compassion, and more understanding about the sacred things in life. It’s a very special listen that makes the scary stuff feel more okay. And it will open your heart if you let it ❤️

7 people found this helpful

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Beautiful memoir.

I found this memoir extremely well written and deeply moving. It is read by the author and he does a beautiful job at relating such a painful and tragic story. I highly recommend this memoir.

4 people found this helpful

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Beautiful book about the worst thing that could happen to a family.

This book was hard for me to read because we too lost a 2 year old in 1970 from a sudden childhood illness. Our daughter was almost 4 at the time. A year later we were blessed to have another son. Jayson captured the feelings and emotions amazingly. I almost felt like I was experiencing their loss along with them. I only wish that grief counseling had been available to us. Somehow we survived those years. Thank you for sharing your story. Betsy S., Fairhope, AL

3 people found this helpful

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I'll Never Get that Time Back

Worst narration. Just awful waste of my time. He should have kept it as a journal for himself and whomever he chose to share it with.

1 person found this helpful

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Not My Cup of Tea

So I got through about 25% of this book before I gave up on it. It’s a tragic story and I’m sure the adjustment that the family went through was both moving and profound. But after a quarter of the way through I felt that the story was dull and my attention span was sinking. At the risk of sounding callous, I thought it better to just quit rather than having to endure.

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  • CB
  • 12-22-19

Beautiful writing, robotic narration

Hard to listen to because the narrator’s and timbre sounds computer-generated. Otherwise important book about loss, grief, and healing.

1 person found this helpful

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Loss and windy path forward

Heart wrenching story of an unimaginable tragedy. Jayson used his writing skills to find the most intimate language to share the complex journey they endured. As I finish I’m not sure how but thinking of Greta makes me smile. Hugs to you, Stacy, Harrison and the rest of your families.

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Stars!

Wow, this book was beautifully written, told and left a deeply impactful imprint on me. I was angry, grieving, questioning and joyful along with the characters. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has grieved. No matter what the cause of the grief. I loved the idea of bringing ceremony into grief. Not just once but as an ongoing practice. I also drew inspiration from the concept of weaving loss into all of life. Rather than waiting to get over, beyond or past the loss. I’ve been devastated by my own losses (which is too small a word). This book helped my put language to them as well as ideas on how to manage my own experience. Though my circumstances are entirely different, I loved watching Jason, Stacy work to move forward in their life. It helped me see the path they traveled. I have otherwise only listened to words or phrases from others describing their journey.

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Beautiful

I was born a year after my brother Kevin’s death. My mom later wrote the book, “Dreaming Kevin: The Path to Healing.” So many parts of Jayson’s story are familiar and comforting to the grief journey my parents experienced and have shared with me. My brother Kevin was just 5 1/2 when he was hit by a car riding his bike. This book reminds me of the how drastically their life was catapulted into space. How lonely. How painful. Yet it’s completely transformed and deepened their souls in an unexplainable way. I’ve felt so much of this with out even having known my brother or having experienced his loss. It’s fascinating.

I feel incredibly lucky in the ways that my brothers death has impacted and shaped the person I am today. The family we are today and the love and connection in my family that I know is truly something very special.

Wishing you and Stacey many years of growth and love and laughter as you journey on.

Thank you for sharing your story.

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Not Perfect, but a Story I Needed to Hear

The story is a really great one, walking through the loss and the counseling and the feelings about the family members. It's a great idea for him to share his experience as he felt it, however the narration felt bland. The reading was very monotone and feeling less. I generally tend to prefer a book read by the author, however I'm sure that most could have done a better job of reading this aloud. I still am honored that I was able to hear the experience and bless them for working through it together.