Live Your Life: My Story of Loving and Losing Nick Cordero by Amanda and Anna Kloots
Amanda Kloots bravely reflects on love, loss, and life with her husband, Broadway star and Tony-nominee Nick Cordero, whose public battle with Covid-19 and tragic death made headlines around the world.
In the early spring of 2020, Broadway star and Tony Award nominee Nick Cordero was hospitalized for what he and his wife, Amanda Kloots, believed was a severe case of pneumonia. Entering Cedars-Sinai, there was no indication that Nick—a young man in the prime of life with no pre-existing conditions—would never return home. Diagnosed with Covid-19, this rising star—who only a few days earlier was the picture of health—soon deteriorated. Suffering a series of complications – minor heart attacks, an amputation, sepsis—he was kept alive for weeks, hooked to a ventilator, bypass machines, dialysis, and a specialized heart-lung bypass machine.
Staying strong for Nick and their infant son, Elvis, Amanda shared their journey on social media, documenting Nick’s condition and the risks of Covid-19 for all ages. Her updates quickly made an impact, inspiring millions of followers around the globe who offered positive thoughts and virtual prayers, and danced each day to Nick’s hit song Live Your Life. When Nick passed away after 94 grueling days in the ICU, the world grieved for Amanda and her family’s devastating loss.
Live Your Life is her and Nick’s story: of their love and fairy-tale marriage, of the disease that quickly upended it, of the fight for Nick’s survival—those sudden tragic months that permanently changed her world and ours—of her grief and how she came to terms with his death, of keeping Nick’s memory alive for Elvis and the world. Offering courage and inspiration to anyone coping with overwhelming loss and written with her sister Anna Kloots who was with her every step of this journey, Amanda’s story is a thoughtful and poignant reflection on love, hope, motherhood, and the power of community in times of hardship. In sharing her experience, she shows us that, through positivity and community, even the most impossible circumstances can be endured.
Live Your Life includes 16 pages of color photos exclusive to the book.
Live Your Life: My Story of Loving and Losing Nick Cordero is Amanda Kloots’ reflection on the life she shared with her late husband, Nick Cordero. In this memoir, she shares details about when they met, married, and eventually went on to have their beautiful son, Elvis. After moving to L.A. in late 2019 to follow Nick’s dream and further his career, he contracted a mysterious illness with unrelenting fatigue. It affected him for days until he progressed into a more serious condition which would eventually be diagnosed as Covid-19.
In an instant, Amanda and Nick’s lives were turned upside down. Nick was only 41, and in perfect health, which led everyone to believe that he would pull out of it without complications. He fought a hard battle while Amanda raced to chronicle his story with the world on social media. People from around the world began to pray and sing for Nick and the family. Amanda was determined to do everything she could to help Nick fight his illness, and with the help of their families, that’s exactly what she did.
I learned about Nick and Amanda through media not long after she began sharing their story. It was something I connected with straight away, and I began praying for them. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think of them. It was such a hopeless feeling to have, but Amanda’s positivity was intoxicating. They were all tenacious fighters. During such an early and uncertain time in the pandemic, everyone seemed to be in the same learn and go approach. We were all dealing with an infodemic of too much information—some accurate and some not—which made everything more confusing. I sympathized with Amanda and put myself in her shoes. After reading this book in its entirety and learning more about the other struggles she faced, I was literally aghast. One of the struggles I connected with pertained to the hospital rules due to the fragility of our healthcare system and all the big unknowns. The thought that your loved one could be sucked into the healthcare system and never be seen again is horrifying. I’ve dealt with a similar situation in my past although not as extreme. In Amanda’s case, following the hospital’s rules created even more isolation and heartbreak.
What I loved most about this memoir is the way it’s written. This isn’t just a memoir about Nick’s battle with a virus and the aftermath that came with it, but it’s a reflection of Nick and Amanda’s relationship, their families, and their love for one another. It’s beautifully written and woven together perfectly with pieces of the past, giving the reader insight into their family lives growing up and how they banded together—bonding all over again during this crisis. It’s a story of hope, faith, perseverance, gratitude, and resilience in the face of a horrible pandemic. It’s also a story that shows the goodness of humanity and how it came out during the Covid-19 pandemic.
I have to mention the music and film references and the comical family anecdotes that were included because I loved them. The power of music and the strength of the family is evident, and it helped pull them all through. I imagine writing this book was a cathartic process for Amanda and her sister Anna, and it must have been difficult at times.
Overall, this was both a poignant and beautiful read. I can’t recall the last time a book caused me to be overcome with emotion like this. The biggest takeaway after reading this book follows the title to one of Nick’s songs and the title of this book, Live Your Life. Never take for granted a single day; treat each day as a gift; and live each day as if it’s your last.
Publication date: June 15th, 2021.
I’d like to thank NetGalley, the publisher, and the authors for sharing this book with me in exchange for my honest review.
- Publisher : Harper (June 15, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0063078252
- ISBN-13 : 978-0063078253
There were multiple song references in the book—most that are favorites of mine. Here’s a beautiful tribute that I found on YouTube to Nick Cordero. This is Nick’s song “Live Your Life” performed by Lenii.
Thanks for reading my review of Life Your Life. Did you follow Amanda and Nick’s story online? Have you read this book? Feel free to leave your thoughts below in the comment section.