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Where the Water Meets the Sand

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A remarkable story of love, loss, and hope Author Tyra Manning learned that her husband had been killed in the Vietnam War from her psychiatrist at the Menninger Clinic, where she had been hospitalized for clinical depression. After years of battling addiction and depression, and coping with the tragic loss of her father at a very early age, Tyra's worst fear had come true A remarkable story of love, loss, and hope Author Tyra Manning learned that her husband had been killed in the Vietnam War from her psychiatrist at the Menninger Clinic, where she had been hospitalized for clinical depression. After years of battling addiction and depression, and coping with the tragic loss of her father at a very early age, Tyra's worst fear had come true. Larry had been shot down over the Laotian jungle while flying a top-secret mission, just two weeks before their daughter’s second birthday. In this beautifully written, award winning memoir, Tyra Manning recounts how she was able to persevere in the face of devastating loss. With courage, love, and determination, she overcame her grief and fulfilled promises she made to Larry before he left for Vietnam. She ultimately earned a doctorate of education from the University of Kansas and became one of the nation’s top school superintendents. When Tyra received a call from the air force in 2006, she was able to keep one last promise to Larry. His remains had finally been excavated after thirty-five years, and she was able to honor his wish to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Where the Water Meets the Sand explores themes of loss, depression, addiction, courage, and love and offers hope to individuals and families who have also dealt with the loss of someone close to them.  


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A remarkable story of love, loss, and hope Author Tyra Manning learned that her husband had been killed in the Vietnam War from her psychiatrist at the Menninger Clinic, where she had been hospitalized for clinical depression. After years of battling addiction and depression, and coping with the tragic loss of her father at a very early age, Tyra's worst fear had come true A remarkable story of love, loss, and hope Author Tyra Manning learned that her husband had been killed in the Vietnam War from her psychiatrist at the Menninger Clinic, where she had been hospitalized for clinical depression. After years of battling addiction and depression, and coping with the tragic loss of her father at a very early age, Tyra's worst fear had come true. Larry had been shot down over the Laotian jungle while flying a top-secret mission, just two weeks before their daughter’s second birthday. In this beautifully written, award winning memoir, Tyra Manning recounts how she was able to persevere in the face of devastating loss. With courage, love, and determination, she overcame her grief and fulfilled promises she made to Larry before he left for Vietnam. She ultimately earned a doctorate of education from the University of Kansas and became one of the nation’s top school superintendents. When Tyra received a call from the air force in 2006, she was able to keep one last promise to Larry. His remains had finally been excavated after thirty-five years, and she was able to honor his wish to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Where the Water Meets the Sand explores themes of loss, depression, addiction, courage, and love and offers hope to individuals and families who have also dealt with the loss of someone close to them.  

30 review for Where the Water Meets the Sand

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

    A giant thank you to Greenleaf Book Group & Netgalley for the advanced copy of Where The Water Meets The Sand. "His spirit is forever with me. Flesh and bones may die, but loving relationships never do." This one sentence holds so much power. The author, Tyra, suffered from clinical depression, was prone to binging & purging & cutting to deal with her anxiety, and had a young husband headed off to war. Add on the fact that she also was responsible for her very small child while longing for h A giant thank you to Greenleaf Book Group & Netgalley for the advanced copy of Where The Water Meets The Sand. "His spirit is forever with me. Flesh and bones may die, but loving relationships never do." This one sentence holds so much power. The author, Tyra, suffered from clinical depression, was prone to binging & purging & cutting to deal with her anxiety, and had a young husband headed off to war. Add on the fact that she also was responsible for her very small child while longing for her husband.. She admitted herself to a clinic to get well enough to be able to take care of her baby, all the while expecting to hear terrible news that her husband would not be returning from Vietnam. The dreaded day did indeed come in short time & thus began the fight & journey to bring her husband's remains home from foreign land to fulfill his wish of being buried at Arlington. After 35 years of searching for answers & never giving up, she was finally able to bring his last wishes to reality & his remains were brought to their final resting place. This memoir was beautifully written and I found myself living her fears, her anxiety, her love for her husband. I found myself crying with sadness, tearing up over her grief & suffering. I felt like I knew her & wishing I could of been there to support her along her journey. Tyra, I know you will probably never see this review, but I thank you for sharing your story with us readers. I know that Sgt Hull is smiling down upon upon you and that every time you are where the water meets the sand, his spirit will always meet you there.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Karen R

    Dr. Tyra Manning is an accomplished woman. She earned her doctorate in education and became one of the nation’s top school superintendents. Dr. Manning’s website states that her mission in life is to “reduce the stigmas associated with mental illnesses, comfort those who are suffering in silence, and open doors to resources for support and treatment. “ But even an expert in the field is not immune to being overcome with grief, depression and chemical dependency. Her memoir is heartbreaking and h Dr. Tyra Manning is an accomplished woman. She earned her doctorate in education and became one of the nation’s top school superintendents. Dr. Manning’s website states that her mission in life is to “reduce the stigmas associated with mental illnesses, comfort those who are suffering in silence, and open doors to resources for support and treatment. “ But even an expert in the field is not immune to being overcome with grief, depression and chemical dependency. Her memoir is heartbreaking and her perseverance inspirational. It must have taken a lot of courage to open herself up to the world and write this memoir.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    This book is a memoir. It tells the heartbreaking and poignant story of the author from childhood through the present day. Of her struggles with depression, addictions and flawed coping strategies that led her to impatient care at Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. It is also a tribute to her husband, First Lt. James “Larry” Hull, USAF. A pilot killed in action (KIA) during the Vietnam War and her actions to bring his remains home to American soil. The author walks us step by step through her j This book is a memoir. It tells the heartbreaking and poignant story of the author from childhood through the present day. Of her struggles with depression, addictions and flawed coping strategies that led her to impatient care at Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. It is also a tribute to her husband, First Lt. James “Larry” Hull, USAF. A pilot killed in action (KIA) during the Vietnam War and her actions to bring his remains home to American soil. The author walks us step by step through her journey as it unfolds over a close to forty year period. She shares scenes from her childhood in flashback. Scenes that help the reader understand how a young girl was forced to grow up too soon after the death of her beloved father and the demands imposed on her by a widowed mother who, like herself years later, returned to college to complete her teaching degree. Tyra never truly recovered from this devastating loss and it haunted her throughout her life. After she meets her future husband at Texas Tech University Tyra's future seems bright. But her husband has a dream, to fly fighter jets. The time is the Vietnam War. Tyra's demons come back in full force as she tries to deal with the impending doom she feels that her husband too would die when he left for his tour in Vietnam. Her fear, anxiety and psychic pain are palpable and heartbreaking. I was touched over and over again by Tyra’s honesty as she shared her most personal thoughts and actions as she deals with the anxieties, addictions and severe depression she experienced for a good part of her early life. She does not hide or try to gloss over her years of continued struggles even after she was released from Menninger. Her honestly that still resonates today as she tells us she still takes it, “one day at a time.” Many times I found myself reading through tears as Tyra shared the emotional impact the loss of her father had on her from the time she was only nine. And then, unimaginably, the loss of her young husband. She lets us into her skin and allows us to walk around and experience the anguish and shame she felt for decisions and actions she took to cope with her soul crushing losses piled one atop the other. The story is accessible at many levels. The author writes in an easy going style and does share that the book was written over many years and began as her journaling to help her cope with the loss of her beloved husband. Tyra's husband, Larry comes alive in the book, even though his life is brief his footprint and impact are immense. Tyra's memory of him spurs her on at her most difficult and trying of times. I so enjoyed getting to know Larry through Tyra and the men who served with him in the United States Air Force. He is as much alive in its pages as Tyra and I believe she intended it that way. The reader can tell even though they were very young they were deeply in love. Larry though only 24 took every measure possible to ensure that should the worst occur, should he be killed in action, that Tyra and their baby daughter Laura would have a home and money enough to survive. I found myself wishing to know more about this caring, kind, thoughtful man. I too found myself wanting to hear his voice that ran through Tyra's mind and heart as she took her first steps to a healthy life. That she still hears today. (Postscript: A short clip can be found on the Goodreads site.) I believe the true hero of the book is Larry. Not only did he fight and die for his country at a time when the choice to do so was met with vehement derision but his unconditional love for his wife was very inspiring. The support he provided throughout their short time together lasted a lifetime and his lifelong impact on Tyra and all who were involved in his short life is amazing. That one man from west Texas could have such an impact on so many really touched me. That Tyra was able to convey the essence of the man in such a short book is also a tribute to her. And that she was able to fulfill not only her promise to him and the dreams for her they shared but also that she lives a life now of joy and purpose. Brava Dr. Manning! Tyra is a survivor. She didn't always make the best decisions but she learned to accept the help offered to her and grow and make better decisions. She recognized when she was standing on a slippery slope and took appropriate actions to seek and accept help. She did not allow her fear or the stigma of mental health and addiction stop her from stepping forward. And she has grown braver and more vocal through the years. Age has a way of doing that. Her goal now is to advocate for those afraid and unable to seek out or avail themselves of the mental health programs available to them. But as she says, so much more is needed and must be offered if we are to truly help those who suffer under the weight of mental illness, its shame, judgment and stigma. The one thing I would have liked would have been photos. Some family photos would have helped put a face to a name. I would have loved to have seen Tyra and Larry sharing happier times and photos of Laura. Also photos from Larry’s memorial services. This is the one thing I found wanting. This is not a book that delves deeply into the clinical causes and internal emotions of its author. Tyra admits it has always been difficult for her to talk about the depths of her feelings. It is also not a book concerning in-depth treatment practices. Rather it is a book about survival, perseverance and the journey of one young woman among the thousands widowed at a very young age because the man she hoped to grow old with was a casualty of war. How perfect for what we are going through again as thousands lose their lives and are physically, mentally and emotionally scarred by yet another foreign conflict. The titile is from the words of a promise, a hope, for a recovered Tyra to walk with Larry on his R&R in Hawaii, "where the water meets the sand." I definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for inspiration and anyone dealing with grief and loss. Tyra persevered regardless of the circumstances or challenges placed in her path. Her hope is that others will too. I was provided with an ARC copy of this book for my unbiased review. I thank the author and publisher for this opportunity.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Janette Fuller

    Tyra Manning learned that her husband had been killed in the Vietnam War from her psychiatrist at the Menninger Clinic, where she had been hospitalized for clinical depression. After years of battling addiction and depression, Tyra's worst fear had come true. Larry had been shot down over the Laotian jungle while flying a top-secret mission, just two weeks before their daughter's second birthday. The author recounts how she was able to persevere in the face of devastating loss. With courage, love Tyra Manning learned that her husband had been killed in the Vietnam War from her psychiatrist at the Menninger Clinic, where she had been hospitalized for clinical depression. After years of battling addiction and depression, Tyra's worst fear had come true. Larry had been shot down over the Laotian jungle while flying a top-secret mission, just two weeks before their daughter's second birthday. The author recounts how she was able to persevere in the face of devastating loss. With courage, love, and determination, she overcame her grief and fulfilled promises she made to Larry before he left for Vietnam. She ultimately earned a doctorate of education from the University of Kansas and became one of the nation's top school superintendents. When Tyra received a call from the Air Force in 2006, she was able to keep one last promise to Larry. His remains had finally been excavated after thirty-five years, and she was able to honor his wish to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. This memoir is remarkable for many reasons. I started reading this book and couldn't put it down until I read the last page. The author is a survivor. Tyra Manning is as much of a hero as her husband who lost his life in Vietnam. She would not give up, no matter how difficult her life circumstances were. Here are some of the challenges that Dr. Manning overcame: The illness and death of her father at a young age. Depression, anxiety and eating disorders. Alcohol addiction. Becoming a young widow of an Air Force pilot killed in Vietnam. Single motherhood. Working as a school teacher and going to school at night and during summers. Severe injuries from a head-on collision with a drunk driver. Divorce. Dealing with military authorities for over 35 years to have her husband's remains returned and buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Trya and Larry were planning to meet in Hawaii, where the water meets the sand, during an upcoming R&R leave. This dream of walking on the beach with her husband inspired and comforted Tyra during her most difficult days. Courage. Inspiration. Determination. Perseverance. Patriotism. Hope. Love. These are just a few words that describe Dr. Manning's life journey. Highly recommended!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Baggaley

    I greatly enjoyed Dr. Manning's memoir. Her style was fluid and it left me with a peaceful feeling, despite the painful memories which she came face-to-face with. What I found the most inspiring is the fact that this author made the conscious decision to get help for her addictions - she wanted to get better so that she would be the best parent to her young daughter. Keep in mind that this was during the Vietnam War era, a time where mental health issues were never discussed and the stigma of be I greatly enjoyed Dr. Manning's memoir. Her style was fluid and it left me with a peaceful feeling, despite the painful memories which she came face-to-face with. What I found the most inspiring is the fact that this author made the conscious decision to get help for her addictions - she wanted to get better so that she would be the best parent to her young daughter. Keep in mind that this was during the Vietnam War era, a time where mental health issues were never discussed and the stigma of being hospitalized would have been overwhelming for your average bear....but not for this mama bear! It takes a great amount of inner strength and courage to first identify and then to acknowledge that there is a problem. Asking for help, then following through with all the hard work during treatment is not easy, yet Dr. Manning never gave up on herself. I think that is why I felt a calming peace while reading Where The Water Meets The Sand, because her courage and her beauty is shown on every single page. The undying love she has for her soulmate and her daughter shows the reader that a true unconditional love never dies. Dr. Manning, thank you for believing in yourself, and thank you for sharing your very private memoir. You did a great job!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    First I would like to thank NetGalley and the author for the opportunity to read this wonderful memoir and tribute. What can I say, Wow! This loving tribute has left me speechless! The honesty and emotion by the author had me crying throughout the book! I feel that the author not only wrote a beautiful story, that honoured her husbands memory, but all the other soldiers that have been lost to war, PTSD, addiction, mental health, and their families. It takes courage to face our own demons and the First I would like to thank NetGalley and the author for the opportunity to read this wonderful memoir and tribute. What can I say, Wow! This loving tribute has left me speechless! The honesty and emotion by the author had me crying throughout the book! I feel that the author not only wrote a beautiful story, that honoured her husbands memory, but all the other soldiers that have been lost to war, PTSD, addiction, mental health, and their families. It takes courage to face our own demons and the author overcame hers. The fact that she allowed the reader to join her on this journey was heartbreaking due to the honesty and the depth of emotion that she allowed to show in her writing. Thank you for sharing your story and for your bravery!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    "Where the Water Meets the Sand" was an emotional memoir about Tyra in the time around her husband, Larry, deployed to Vietnam, and the events that followed. It's a pretty intense topic, and the events are recounted with some distance. I felt a little detached from the story for this reason, and would have liked to hear more about her thoughts/emotions during the book (we hear more of events than the emotions surrounding them). That being said, I understand this can be a very emotional and diffi "Where the Water Meets the Sand" was an emotional memoir about Tyra in the time around her husband, Larry, deployed to Vietnam, and the events that followed. It's a pretty intense topic, and the events are recounted with some distance. I felt a little detached from the story for this reason, and would have liked to hear more about her thoughts/emotions during the book (we hear more of events than the emotions surrounding them). That being said, I understand this can be a very emotional and difficult topic to write about, so I understand why the writing style is what it is. It's a long journey, but one worth reading. Please note that I received this book through a goodreads giveaway. All opinions are my own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alexis Morton

    Where the Water Meets the Sand is an emotional memoir. The author shares the details of her life story and how she dealt with the depression when she lost her husband. I highly recommend this book. This is the perfect book for anyone that is feeling alone in a difficult time in their life or is looking to restore their courage and hope.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Johnson

    Dr. Manning's story touched my heart in so many ways. Her strength, perseverance, and love are extraordinary. Thank you for sharing your incredible story of loss, recovery, and eventual closure.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Liza Markling

    A heartfelt memoir of Tyra Manning's struggles as she works through the death of her husband, Larry, who died in the Vietnam war. Tyra struggles to live on her own and to raise her daughter, so she commits herself at the Menninger Clinic to try to heal and work through her grief. So many families are affected by wars and the deaths or injuries of their loved ones who are fighting in those wars. Tyra provides an honest glimpse into everything she had to go through, as a wife, mother, widow. *Thank A heartfelt memoir of Tyra Manning's struggles as she works through the death of her husband, Larry, who died in the Vietnam war. Tyra struggles to live on her own and to raise her daughter, so she commits herself at the Menninger Clinic to try to heal and work through her grief. So many families are affected by wars and the deaths or injuries of their loved ones who are fighting in those wars. Tyra provides an honest glimpse into everything she had to go through, as a wife, mother, widow. *Thanks to NetGalley for providing an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Where the Water Meets the Sand is the remarkable memoir of Tyra Manning and a loving tribute to her husband, First Lt. James "Larry" Hull, USAF, killed in action in Vietnam. Tyra had a host of psychological issues arising from her childhood. The never-forgotten early death of her father, and the incredible responsibilities put on her young shoulders after his death, led her to feel overwhelmed. She escaped for years in poor-coping skills, teenage rebellion, drinking, binging/purging, cutting etc Where the Water Meets the Sand is the remarkable memoir of Tyra Manning and a loving tribute to her husband, First Lt. James "Larry" Hull, USAF, killed in action in Vietnam. Tyra had a host of psychological issues arising from her childhood. The never-forgotten early death of her father, and the incredible responsibilities put on her young shoulders after his death, led her to feel overwhelmed. She escaped for years in poor-coping skills, teenage rebellion, drinking, binging/purging, cutting etc. before finding love with Larry Hull. Though young, they had a love that shone bright, produced a daughter and was Tyra's lifeline after Larry left for Vietnam, and for decades to come. After the birth of their daughter and Larry's deployment, she found herself once again overwhelmed and unfit to care for herself and her daughter. She admitted herself as an inpatient to Menninger Clinic, a renowned mental health facility. It was there that she learned of Larry's death, her worst fear come true. Over time, she was able to process many of her feelings, and gain coping skills. Upon discharge, Tyra put herself through school, became a teacher, then a principal, and eventually superintendent of schools, while continuing to fight the recurring demons and addictions from her past, and raising her daughter. She never forgot about Larry, or her promise to bury him in Arlington National Cemetery if he didn't make it back from Vietnam. Decades after his death, and no small amount of red-tape, his remains were found, recovered and brought back to American soil. She was able to fulfill that last, unbearable promise to him. This is a love story. It is also the story of loss, losing your way, finding it again, perseverance, continual struggling and battling addictions, unknown strength, holding on, letting go. It is a story about life. It is breathtaking, it is beautiful, it is well-worth your time. And it serves as a reminder that our veterans and active military members are not the only ones affected by their service. Their families go through just as many battles, though without recognition or acknowledgement. And they too are scarred. Many thanks to NetGalley and Greenleaf Book Group who provided me with an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sue Fernandez

    Thank you Greenleaf and NetGalley. What a great memoir. I couldn't put it down, and it read like a novel. I actually had to look back to remind myself it wasn't non fiction. The author has been through more than most would be in a lifetime, but she has survived. Manning's husband was killed in Vietnam, and she had to struggle as a young mother. She went though depression, money problems, alcohol abuse on top of fighting for 3 decades to get her husband's remains returned to US soil. I highly rec Thank you Greenleaf and NetGalley. What a great memoir. I couldn't put it down, and it read like a novel. I actually had to look back to remind myself it wasn't non fiction. The author has been through more than most would be in a lifetime, but she has survived. Manning's husband was killed in Vietnam, and she had to struggle as a young mother. She went though depression, money problems, alcohol abuse on top of fighting for 3 decades to get her husband's remains returned to US soil. I highly recommend this book. I might actually read it again...and I rarely do that.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This was a serious book about serious issues. It was a courageous undertaking for Tyra Manning and for the publisher. It was honest and comprehensive and it made me cry throughout. It gives hope to those that need it during difficult times. It shows that people have strengths they never imagined. This was a personal journey that people should read. I totally would recommend this book to others.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Erin Panhorst

    Where the Water Meets the Sand is a beautiful memoir. Tyra shares the intimate details of her life story and how she overcame depression and the loss of her husband. This book is the perfect read for anyone facing a difficult time in their life or is looking for a heartfelt story filled with courage and hope. I highly recommend!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Allie

    This book is an extremely beautiful and meaningful work of literature. It isn't easy to share personal experiences and raw emotions with thousands of readers you don't personally know, but Tyra does so in such a moving way. It is obvious that she writes from her heart. I recommend this book to anyone going through a tough time in life--it is truly a wonderful tale of healing and strength.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Cimo

    Tyra Manning's story really is incredible. I learned more about the reality of mental illness and the road to recovery. I was deeply invested in her journey with every page. Her struggles and strength continued to surprise me until the end. Well done!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pam Thomas

    Loved the book. How it peels away the layers of trials and tribulations, successes and failures, dealing with personal demons that would have destroyed most people. Also the books points out that not only soldiers of war are not the only casualties but so are their families.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Pam Thomas

    Loved the book, how it peels away the layers of trials and tribulations, successes and failures. Dealing with personal demons that would have destroyed most people, most importantly points out that soldiers are casualties of war and so are their families.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    I won this book from Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you. What a touching love story. Your words were beautiful. And the view into your own inspirational life was amazing.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lace

    This was a very moving story about love and loss and overcoming hardships in life. I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys reading uplifting stories.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andra Watkins

    A fearless memoir about the inexplicable insanity of love.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Trinitee Mitchell-Dunn

    I won this book to read for an honest review. Very powerful story. I went threw so many emotions reading this book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marc A Benjamin

  24. 5 out of 5

    Martha Thomas

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Ford

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Trahanas

  28. 5 out of 5

    Karen Keilt

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

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