This audiobook is about what happened next. In her ninth month of pregnancy, she learned that her baby boy had died. How do you deal with and recover from this kind of loss? Of course you don't - but you go on. And if you have ever experienced loss or love someone who has, you will hope to go on with the help and company of this remarkable audiobook.
With humor and heart and unfailing generosity, McCracken considers the nature of love, and grief. She opens her heart and leaves all of ours the richer for it.
©2008 Elizabeth McCracken; (P)2008 Hachette Audio
This powerful book delves deeply into the very personal experience of hope and excitement of pregnancy and then the subsequent loss of that hope. The story will speak directly to anyone who has lost a child. The author's experience is so true and heartrendingly told that it takes on a universal quality. It will ring true and put words to the tragedy many people experience. Beautifully written.
Novelist Elizabeth McCracken's first son was stillborn. She does tell you right off the bat that she does successfully have a second child, but of course he will never replace her first child. This book is visceral, not just heart-wrenching but like going into your chest with a dull knife, ripping out your heart, jumping up and down on it for a bit, and then pouring salt on it. Rarely has anyone so eloquent written about something so tremendously sad. From my point of view as a bystander to a similar situation, this rang extraordinarily true.
I was initially impressed that the author was narrating this audiobook herself. I had previously listened to The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, and she had a different narrator (although a brilliant one). I thought it could be too hard on her. Unlike Magical, where the narrator's voice occasionally trembled with so much emotion, in Replica, Ms. McCracken keeps a firm grip on her emotions, even as she reads about the most horrible days of her life. At first I felt it wasn't as personal, but in the end, it actually made the narration even more personal. You could feel her biting back her emotions and her ironclad steadiness broke my heart even more, as I could still feel her pain through her stoicism. Sometimes watching (hearing) a person maintain a stiff upper lip through tragedy can be the most heartbreaking thing of all.
I teared up a couple of times while listening to this book, and I am not a person who cries easily. I'd like to thank Ms. McCracken for allowing us to hear her story and share in her sorrow. And I once again am very thankful, as The Mighty Mighty Bosstones say, "Have you ever been close to tragedy or close to folks who have... I never had to knock on wood, but I know someone who has, which makes me wonder if I could, it makes me wonder if I ever had to knock on wood, and I'm glad I haven't yet, because I'm sure it isn't good, that's the impression that I get." That song was running through my mind when the audiobook was over
I like the idea of a memoir based on a specific event or period of time in one's life.
This memoir deals with a sensitive and emotional subject but just when I thought I could not absorb any more sadness the author pulls together the broken threads of her life into a new fabric of acceptance and redemption.
McCracken elaborates her angst and disbelief concerning the stillborn loss of her child and her reconciling how emotionally attached she was to the fetus during development and the disengagement she had to endure to separate herself from the dead child. I thought she took a brave road in allowing insight into her emotional state during this transition. Whereas this is not a re-read for me, I thought it was insightful and meaningful for the emotional states we need to endure during such passages. I would recommend it.
As a labor and delivery nurse that helps women through these losses, I loved this book for the different perspective it gave me. She is a great author and kept me listening the whole way through!
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