National Library Week runs April 10 through 16 this year, and Stockton Springs Community Library, 6 Station St., will kick off the week with a talk by best-selling author Kate Braestrup Sunday, April 10 at 2 p.m.

Braestrup is a community minister, law enforcement chaplain and author of the New York Times bestselling memoir “Here If You Need Me,” “Marriage and Other Acts of Charity,” and “Beginner’s Grace: Bringing Prayer to Life.” The daughter of a foreign correspondent, Braestrup spent her childhood in Algiers, New York City, Paris, Bangkok, Washington, D.C., and Sabillasville, Md. She married James Andrew “Drew” Griffith in 1985. Shortly after the birth of their first child in 1986, Griffith joined the Maine State Police, and the family moved to the Midcoast.

Educated at the Parsons School of Design/The New School and Georgetown University, Braestrup originally thought of herself primarily as a writer. She had published a novel, “Onion,” in 1990 and essays in national publications. More children arrived, and she continued combining motherhood and writing. Trooper Griffith was killed in a car accident while on duty in 1996 and Braestrup was left a widowed mother of four.

Griffith had spent the last year of his life working towards becoming a Unitarian Universalist minister, a plan he naturally discussed extensively with his wife. In this way, unwittingly, he had prepared the way for Braestrup to recognize and develop her own  vocation. She entered the Bangor Theological Seminary in 1997 and was ordained in 2004. Since 2001, she has served as chaplain to the Maine Warden Service, joining the wardens as they search for those who have lost their way; and offering comfort to those who wait for the ones they love to be rescued or for their bodies to be recovered.

In 2006, Braestrup married the artist Simon van der Ven; between them, they have a total of six children. They live in Lincolnville.

Admission to the talk is free and refreshments will be served. Braestrup’s talk is supported by a grant from the Rose and Samuel Rudman Library Trust of the Maine Community Foundation.

To cap National Library Week, the library will hold its annual open house Saturday, April 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with activities, refreshments and a special Mad Hatter’s Tea Party for children. For more information, call 567-4147 or visit

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to