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Paperback This Lovely Life Book

ISBN: 0547232756

ISBN13: 9780547232751

This Lovely Life

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Starred Review. Forman's enormously affecting memoirwinner of the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference Bakeless Prizeabout the drastic disabilities of her extremely premature child poses challenging questions about parenthood and human compassion. Having given birth to twins at just six months' gestation (23 weeks), due to an undetected infection she learned of only much later, the author, living with her husband and three-year-old daughter in Southern...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Facing the Unimaginable Head-On

Vicki Forman begged to let her micropreemie twins slip away from the unimaginable, and was talked into holding on. This Lovely Life is the story of her and her family's lives for the next two years. The author describes -- without vanity, with unyielding honesty -- how the unimaginable encompasses more, asks more than some parents ever thought they could handle -- and the lessons we all can take from such experiences. Though her journey is underpinned by strength, love, and acceptance, the realities of the author's son's first two years are often brutal. Thankfully Ms. Forman, like Dickey and Nabokov before her, writes so beautifully that I found myself sighing with pleasure at her prose, even though her generosity and story had me in tears. Please, read this book.

A book for everyone

This is not just a book for people who have faced the sorrows of raising a disabled child. It is an amazing, moving, engrossing tale about how we learn to love and accept our children and ourselves, with all our flaws, all our imperfections.

A Book Every Person in Healthcare Ought to Read

While working with some very talented and caring medical professionals through her son's unbelievably difficult first years, Vicki and her husband were also forced to endure confusing, frustrating, and sometimes heartless encounters with people who were charged with the responsibility not only to preserve life (a difficult subject that resonates throughout the pages of This Lovely Life) but to HELP those in need. Vicki was desperately in need of much support and guidance not only due to her son's multiple disabilities but because she had just lost her newborn daughter. Somehow she overcame obstacle after obstacle--many presented by the very people who were supposed to be there to help her--to become a determined advocate for her son's life--and her own dignity. And thankfully--unlike in many states--at-home services for her child were provided as they were deemed necessary. But the trauma of losing one child, learning to care for a severely disabled child, and coping with immense levels of guilt and fear and depression seemed barely acknowledged; certainly it was never mentioned in any treatment plan proposed to her. A shocking testimony that nonetheless finds a way toward acceptance and hope, This Lovely Life ought to become a standard text in every medical or health-related training program as well as a required read for those already in a medical or health-related field.

From sadness to affirmation

The description of this book is heartbreaking, but I came away from reading it moved, overwhelmed, and possessed by the joy you can only feel in the presence of truth. Forman has been through pain that most of us will never experience -- by taking us with her on that journey, we are able to see her growing through sadness, anger and denial into a warrior, teacher and healer who advocates fiercely for her multiply disabled, but no less beautiful or important child. Through her eyes we are able to learn truths that we might never reach on our own; when she writes, "Even a short life is a whole life; this I have learned," I cried, not with anguish, but with joy. There is a Zen saying, "If you want to find the path, set fire to your own life." By enduring the flames of her rage, pain, and ultimately love, Forman illuminates truths that will stay with me forever. I am grateful for this book.

Stunning debut

Vicki Forman's memoir of the premature birth of her twins and the heartbreaking events that follow is a story that raises important questions about life and love, modern medicine and motherhood. Written from the heart--a heart shattered and broken by grief--Forman's story is honest and compelling. With a skillful hand, she draws readers into her world weaving a tale that is at once devastating and life-affirming. In the forward to the book, fellow author Tom Bissell, writes, "This Lovely Life is less a book one reads than a book one experiences, and no one who gives him- or herself to this writer's terrible, beautiful story will ever be the same again." Winner of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Bakeless Prize, This Lovely Life is a must read, one that will spark important conversations about the sanctity of life and love, and what it truly means to become a parent.
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