Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Loving Rachel: A Family's Journey from Grief

I really enjoyed this book. It's written by the mother of a child who is discovered to be blind a few months after birth. There is very open talk about how this impacted her relationship with her husband and then four-year-old daughter, as well as other family and friends.

The mother, Jane, finds herself in a world in which she never imagined herself being. She shares thoughts that most people keep to themselves. Thoughts that felt very familiar when I thought back to my response to my own daughter's diagnosis of Down syndrome.

Rachel was born in 1983 and I found it interesting to see that while surely things have changed since then, the emotions are timeless. In that way, the book never seemed dated.

I never felt sad reading this book, though grief is interwoven through the story. I think that may be because I've been there and realize that it's just a natural part of the journey.

The one thing that bothered me a little was the author's apparent obsession with the fact that her daughter could be found to be "retarded." She mentions it many times. If this were one of those stories where everything just ends up being ok in the end and it's all wrapped up with a pretty little bow with a sigh of relief and an expression of, "Whew! We just dodged a bullet, huh?" then maybe it would bother me more. But, like I said, she's honest about how she feels and it is scary to be faced with the unknown, so...I get it.

Where this book ends, Rachel in the World begins. I'm interested in reading that one eventually.

I'd be glad to send out Loving Rachel to anyone who wants to give it a read.

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