About the Book
Lieber, by Newtown author and artist Patty Barkman, weaves the story of her long marriage to Leon Barkman with her own autobiography and fascinating memories of the couple’s travels and travails, as well as their richly colored friendships. The book also reveals Patty’s wrenching experience of the Sandy Hook massacre, which followed Leon’s death by 83 dark days.

As two young adventurers and iconoclasts come together in Salzburg in 1965, a story of love and loss unfolds with wit, joy, piercing grief, and moving accounts of Patty’s highly attuned perceptions of natural phenomena and beauty.

As Newtown seeks to heal itself so, too, does the author. Lieber is her gift to all those who suffer loss, as well as a poignant expression of hope and spirit. All profits from the sale of this book will go to the Newtown Caregiver Cause, as a tribute to those who have given selflessly to help others.

My space for painting is away from the other climbers, but it’s not so secluded that when Leon leaves to explore further places, Cameron, an eight-year-old camper and fellow climber, does not find me. He asks, “Wouldn’t it be nice if you owned this space?” I laugh. “Then you could put a lock on the entrance.” He shows me a spot among the trees where he’d place a door. He says he likes my painting and asks, "Are you writing a book?” For an eight-year-old, writing a book must mean painting pictures. He looks at some of my other watercolors done on previous days that week and says, “These are summer paintings. You could write the book this winter, and it would be ready for people next summer when they like to see summer paintings.” “I’ll work on that!” I promised. It was for Cameron at that moment that I first conceived the idea of a book, but it was Leon’s death that inspired me to begin writing it. And it was the death of the children and teachers in my Town of Newtown that made me want further therapy in writing, allowing myself company, someone to talk to now that Leon’s gone.


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