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Paperback Finding Magic Mountain: Life with Five Glorious Kids and a Rogue Gene Called FOP Book

ISBN: 1569244006

ISBN13: 9781569244005

Finding Magic Mountain: Life with Five Glorious Kids and a Rogue Gene Called FOP

Carol Zapata-Whelan describes her son's struggle with the rare genetic disease Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP), focusing on the time of diagnosis at age nine to his first year in college... This description may be from another edition of this product.


Format: Paperback

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Magic Story

This book is a chant to life. The basic values of humanity,love, honesty, compassion and courage are to be found in Carol Zapata-Whelan's story. Knowing from the outset that she is fighting an unknown adversary who changes faces and steps like a demon, blinding his oponent, Carol shows grit from the opening of Magic Mountain up to the end of this dramatic narrative.

Finding Magic Mountain: Life with Five Glorious Kids and a Rogue Gene Called FOP

Amazing read. Couldn't put it down and yet I wanted it to last. Bought 3 more copies and gave as gifts because the lesson was so important.

FOP's Warrior Mother

Finding Magic Mountain: Life with Five Glorious Kids and a Rogue Gene Called FOP (Avalon Publishing Group) constitutes nothing less than operating instructions on how to grow emotional calluses and take life on, on its own terms. In her fast-moving memoir about a large lively family pulling together over the musculoskeletal disorder FOP, which appears in her son Vincent's ninth year, Carol Zapata-Whelan tells a story of hope and epiphanies. She won't let the reader into the full impact of FOP until her story is well underway, and then crafts a breathtaking scene around the opening of a manila envelope: "As my husband and I sat in the family room that night, absorbing the words on those Xeroxed pages, it was as if all sound and motion had stopped and that white room with blue couches was a bell jar, or a frozen frame in a film, or even that instant when the electricity goes and you suddenly hear the silence under ordinary life." We are given a roadmap through disbelief, denial, rage, bargaining and an uneasy truce that might be called acceptance: It is Elizabeth Kubler Ross's work that Zapata-Whelan leads us through, keeping her point of view--as mother--straight. As a writer, I appreciate the fluid narrative structure of Zapata-Whelan's book and how she makes a universal statement of coping with suffering out of the particulars of her life: her tardiness, her Latinness, her otherworldliness, her rapport with husband and children, with the Old World grandparents. It is, ultimately, from her son Vincent's grace and steadiness that Zapata-Whelan learns about joy along life's toughest roads. I loved this book for the warrior path that the author blazes through her example of love, courage, and bravery in the face of overwhelming heartbreak.

Pure Magic

As someone with the disease, FOP, I thought this book would be something different than what it is- but it is wonderful. It is everyday life grafted suddenly into a road less traveled by few, but exclaims a spirit of endurance that is universal. Zapata-Whelan is real and identifiable in her life as a hurried but dedicated mom, university professor, and instant advocate for her son, Vincent. The only other books I can remember reading and not able to put down until every last word was read were The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath, and a book by Garcia Marquez where there is love in the midst of a war zone. In the war zone of fop, and the sadness and joy that follows the events unfolding in their lives, this must-read is one you won't be able to put down.

A Tale of Courage, Humor, and Love

With self-effacing humor and grace, Carol Zapata-Whelan chronicles her son Vincent's ongoing journey with a rare genetic disease, and the gifts of faith, humility, and acceptance that sustain them along the way. Juggling a family of five children ranging in age from college to kindergarten, Ms. Zapata-Whelan writes about life, parenting, and spirituality, citing both our greatest poets and the playground wisdom of four-year-olds along the way. A testament to a son's courage and a mother's perseverance and love, this book's inspiring message will stay with you for a long time to come.
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