'This is the happiest story in the world with the saddest ending'. A prize-winning, successful novelist in her 30s, Elizabeth McCracken was happy to be an itinerant writer and self-proclaimed spinster. Then she fell in love, got married, and continued her life of writing, travelling, and teaching with her husband. Two years ago, she found herself ...
'This is the happiest story in the world with the saddest ending'. A prize-winning, successful novelist in her 30s, Elizabeth McCracken was happy to be an itinerant writer and self-proclaimed spinster. Then she fell in love, got married, and continued her life of writing, travelling, and teaching with her husband. Two years ago, she found herself in a remote part of France, waiting for the birth of her first child. This book is about what happens next. In the ninth month of her pregnancy, a baby is lost. Just over a year later, a baby is born. In a profoundly moving display of humour, heart, and unfailing generosity, McCracken tenderly presents her story: a story of true love and unfathomable sadness, of courageous recovery and bittersweet moments, of steadfast memories and deep affection. Grief walks through these pages of this remarkable book, but so do happiness and hope.
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Publishers Weekly, 2008-10-27 McCracken tells her own story in this touching and often unexpectedly funny memoir about her life before and after losing her first child in the ninth month of pregnancy. As difficult as it must have been to read aloud, McCracken's delivery is courageous and never self-pitying. McCracken is forthright about the tragedy, telling the listener early on that a baby dies in this book, but that another one is born. McCracken's reading is enthralling and deeply moving, as if she is relating this intimate journey directly to each listener individually from a dark, candle-lit room, in an unforgettable performance. A Little, Brown hardcover (reviewed online). (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2008-07-07 In this stunning memoir of the death in utero of her first child only days before his birth, McCracken has succeeded in writing a beautiful, precise and heartbreaking account without sentimentality or pity. McCracken, whose first novel, The Giant's House, was a National Book Award finalist, writes that at 35 she was prepared to stay a spinster, "the weird aunt, the oddball friend," until she met and married Edward. She became pregnant, and while they were living in an old farmhouse in France they passed over two doctors to select a midwife to deliver "Pudding" in the hospital in Bordeaux. Woven in with the story is the aftermath of his death, the reality of telling the people close to her what happened, and how she and Edward were able to go on. "I felt so ruined by life that I couldn't imagine it ever getting worse," she writes, deciding that if there is a God, "the proof of His existence is black humor," which she uses memorably to tell her story. She later writes of the emotions surrounding her second pregnancy and birth, this time in upstate New York. (That she gives birth to a second child, also a boy, makes it possible for readers to absorb the sadness of her loss.) She lends her narrative a spontaneous feel, as if she's telling as she remembers, making her account all the more personal. In the end, it is a triumph of her will and her writing that she has turned her tragedy into a literary gift. (Sept.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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