“Parts of Hadler’s family tree was shrouded in darkness.  When she was only a few months old, she lost her father at the end of World War II to a mine explosion, an event that so shattered her mother that she refused to talk to her children about him, instead starting a new life and family by marrying again.  Hadler’s search for her father as an adult, a journey that took her to the last places on earth that he walked, serves as a prelude in this meditative memoir to her quest to discover what happened to her mother’s estranged sisters.  What she discovers is a legacy of loss and mental illness, with repercussions for the generations that followed.  Her 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.” Booklist

“This book is about the power of absence.  Can we miss people we never even knew? . . . This book is also about silence.  Why did Hadler not know anything about her father or her aunts when she was growing up?  Why was her mother so secretive about her first family, actively rebuffing Hadler’s requests for information . . . compelling.” Isthmus

“. . . Her story is inspirational for anyone who has ever been met with silence when they asked about their family’s past.  The reader is left with a promise that, while disrupting that quiet may be initially, and inevitably, painful, perseverance and being present to what surrounds us – even that which is invisible – will fill any holes we possess with a transformational sense of belonging.” Washington City Paper

“Susan Johnson Hadler’s memoir is a thoughtful, irresistible journey covering an expansive personal landscape.  Many of the experiences Hadler shares will resonate with her readers in her skillfully crafted book, The Beauty of What Remains: Family Lost, Family Found.” John Busbee, Host, The Culture Buzz

“All families have mysteries and perhaps dark corners.  The lesson in The Beauty of What Remains is to turn those troubles into happiness, darkness into light.  Those are the results of AWONer Susan Hadler’s adventure into her mysterious past in The Beauty of What Remains.  The Star: Journal of the American WWII War Orphans Network

“The narrative is gripping in the premise alone, but the entire story is hauntingly universal. We learn how Hadler’s mother’s choices were connected with hidden family history. Silence cuts deeply into soul, splinters and slices and cuts us off. Hadler’s story toward finding herself through her father leads to learning about her mother’s sisters from whom her mother had chosen to disconnect.

Reading like detective fiction, this memoir holds truths for all of us. Discovery is at the core, not only about family but equally about the larger world events that surround and shape us through ignorance, misinformation and denial.” – NUVO

The Beauty of What Remains is a wonderfully written story of Susan Johnson finding her father’s history and family.  I was taken in right away as she learns more about her father’s death during WWII. . . this book is a must read for anyone with a family history that they want to learn more about.  If you don’t, you will once you start reading this book.  I guarantee this story will inspire you to learn more about your family tree.  This is a fabulous tale.  – The Write Review