Jean Carnahan was the first lady of Missouri when her husband, Governor Mel Carnahan, who was running for the U.S. Senate, and their son, were killed in a plane crash. When Mel Carnahan was elected posthumously (beating John Ashcroft), Jean agreed to take his seat in Washington and served in the U.S. Senate during 9/11, the anthrax attacks, and the vote to go to war in Iraq. During a time of intense and almost unimaginable personal loss, she managed to keep her head up and her heart open and worked diligently for her consituents and for the country. Carnahan, in the public sphere most recently as she campaigned for President Barack Obama, brings her tales about aging, change, strengthening the family, history, politics, and language to the page with a plainspoken, wise humor that is pure pleasure and genuinely uplifting. According to Cokie Roberts, The Tide Always Comes Back contains, "...invaluable lessons, lovingly shared."