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A quest is never what you expect it to be.
Elizabeth Madeline Martin spends her days in a retirement home in Cape Town, watching the pigeons and squirrels on the branch of a tree outside her window. Bedridden, her memory fading, she can recall her early childhood spent in a small wood-and-iron house in Blackridge on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg. Though she remembers the place in detail – dogs, a mango tree, a stream – she has no idea of where exactly it is. ‘My memory is full of blotches,’ she tells her daughter Julia, ‘like ink left about and knocked over.’
Julia resolves to find the Blackridge house: with her mother lonely and confused, would this, perhaps, bring some measure of closure? A journey begins that traverses family history, forgotten documents, old photographs, and the maps that stake out a country’s troubled past – maps whose boundaries nature remains determined to resist. Kind strangers, willing to assist in the search, lead to unexpected discoveries of ancestors and wars and lullabies. Folded into this quest are the tender conversations between a daughter and a mother who does not have long to live.
Taken as one, The Blackridge House is a meditation on belonging, of the stories we tell of home and family, of the precarious footprint of life.
Multiple award-winning author Elsa Joubert's memoir about life after the death of her beloved husband. She must come to terms with the loss of independence, friends who die and the changes in her memory and bodily powers. Vivid memories of her eventful life as a celebrated writer are skilfully woven into her story. Filled with wisdom, compassion and humour, this book will leave no reader untouched.
Dit is die verhaal van ’n vrou wat haar familie in ’n terreuraanval verloor. Dit vertel van ’n gelowige wat in gehoorsaamheid leef, net sodat die mat onder haar uitgeruk kan word. Die boek sal die leser aanmoedig om die werklike koste van ons geloof te bereken, na te dink oor die karakter van God en ons identiteit as Sy kinders. Hannelie se verhaal is ’n merkwaardige getuienis van ’n lewe in geloof en die krag van vergifnis.
From two students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School comes a declaration for our times, and an in-depth look at the making of the #NeverAgain movement that arose after the Parkland, Florida, shooting.
On February 14, 2018, seventeen-year-old David Hogg and his fourteen-year-old sister, Lauren, went to school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, like any normal Wednesday. That day, of course, the world changed. By the next morning, with seventeen classmates and faculty dead, they had joined the leadership of a movement to save their own lives, and the lives of all other young people in America. It's a leadership position they did not seek, and did not want--but events gave them no choice.
The morning after the massacre, David Hogg told CNN: "We're children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together. Get over your politics and get something done."
This book is a manifesto for the movement begun that day, one that has already changed America--with voices of a new generation that are speaking truth to power, and are determined to succeed where their elders have failed. With moral force and clarity, a new generation has made it clear that problems previously deemed unsolvable due to powerful lobbies and political cowardice will be theirs to solve. Born just after Columbine and raised amid seemingly endless war and routine active shooter drills, this generation now says, "Enough!". This book is their statement of purpose, and the story of their lives. It is the essential guide to the #NeverAgain movement.
In November 2014, thirteen members of the Biden family gathered on Nantucket for Thanksgiving, a tradition they had been celebrating for the past forty years; it was the one constant in what had become a hectic, scrutinized, and overscheduled life. The Thanksgiving holiday was a time to connect, a time to reflect on what the year had brought, and what the future might hold. But this year felt different from all those that had come before. Joe and Jill Biden's eldest son, Beau, had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor fifteen months earlier, and his survival was uncertain. "Promise Me, Dad" Beau had told his father. "Give me your word that no matter what happens, you’re going to be all right." Joe Biden gave him his word.
Promise Me, Dad chronicles the year that followed, which would be the most momentous and challenging in Joe Biden’s extraordinary life and career. Vice President Biden traveled more than a hundred thousand miles that year, across the world, dealing with crises in Ukraine, Central America, and Iraq. When a call came from New York, or Capitol Hill, or Kyiv, or Baghdad—“Joe, I need your help”—he responded. For twelve months, while Beau fought for and then lost his life, the vice president balanced the twin imperatives of living up to his responsibilities to his country and his responsibilities to his family. And never far away was the insistent and urgent question of whether he should seek the presidency in 2016.
The year brought real triumph and accomplishment, and wrenching pain. But even in the worst times, Biden was able to lean on the strength of his long, deep bonds with his family, on his faith, and on his deepening friendship with the man in the Oval Office, Barack Obama.
Writing with poignancy and immediacy, Joe Biden allows readers to feel the urgency of each moment, to experience the days when he felt unable to move forward as well as the days when he felt like he could not afford to stop.
This is a book written not just by the vice president, but by a father, grandfather, friend, and husband. Promise Me, Dad is a story of how family and friendships sustain us and how hope, purpose, and action can guide us through the pain of personal loss into the light of a new future.
'If anyone knows how to be happy and old, it's Hunter. Read a page before breakfast and two at night, preferably with food'- Michael Palin. 'As long as I'm alive, I'll be with her, and she'll be with me.' Hunter Davies on Margaret Forster. Happy Old Me is a moving yet uplifting account of one year in Hunter Davies' life, navigating bereavement and finding hope in the future. On 8th February 2016, Margaret Forster lost her life to cancer of the spine. The days that followed for her husband, Hunter Davies, were carried out on autopilot: arrangements to be made, family and friends to be contacted. But how do you cope after you have lost your loved one? How do you carry on? As Hunter navigates what it means to be alone again after 55 years of marriage, coping with bereavement and being elderly (he still doesn't believe he is), he shares his wisdom and lessons he has learnt living alone again. Revealing his emotional journey over the course of one year, as well as the often ignored practical implications of becoming widowed, he learns that, ultimately, bricks and mortar may change but the memories will remain. Part memoir, part self-help, Happy Old Me is a fitting, heart-felt tribute to the love of his life and a surprisingly amusing and informative book about an age, and stage in life, which we might all reach someday. The third book in Hunter Davies' much-loved memoir series, which includes The Co-Op's Got Bananas and A Life in the Day. Praise for Hunter Davies:- `He recalls his childhood growing up in Scotland and Cumbria in the Forties and Fifties, capturing gritty working-class life with humour and charm and painting a vivid picture of that period of social history' Press Association `What sets this book apart, though, is its avoidance of cliche and its determination to reveal everything that might be revealed.' Daily Mail `Eighty-year-old Davies takes a delightfully irreverent approach to his account of his youth and his days as a rookie journalist. Food was rationed, clothes were utilitarian and life could be rough, but there was fun to be had from friendships, films, skiffle and girls' Sunday Express `Davies is a wonderful companion, leading readers down memory lane with great chumminess that will really resonate with those of a certain age. This book deserves a place on the shelf beside Alan Johnson's This Boy.' Express 'Ken Loach might have turned all this into a powerful social film, but the avuncular Davies sprinkles in so many cheery anecdotes that the book bounces along enjoyably' Sunday Times
'[A] beautifully written investigation of grief ... As an exploration of love and loss, as a portrait of a person and of the nature of personhood, this book is about as true as any I have read' James McConnachie, Sunday Times An audacious and beautiful account of grief and who we are. Memoir, neuroscience and myth interweave to create a book unlike any other When celebrated neuropsychologist Paul Broks' wife died of cancer, he found himself plunged into the world of the bereaved. As he experienced the pain, alienation and suffering that make us human, his clinician-self seemed to watch on with keen interest. He embarked upon a voyage of experience: a journey through grief, philosophy, consciousness, humanity and magical thinking - seen through the prism of a lifetime's work in neuroscience. Fusing an account of living with and recovering from loss with thought-provoking meditations on the nature of the mind and the self, The Darker the Night, the Brighter the Stars is an audacious and beautiful work by a writer of astonishing wisdom and compassion.
Here is one important thing we all have in common: literally everyone we know and love will die. That one uplifting and crowd-pleasing fact is not enough to make it easier when it actually happens. Other bad things happen, too, and sometimes they happen in quick succession, as they did to Nora McInerny. In the span of a few weeks, thirty-something Nora lost her husband, her unborn baby, and her father. Her life fell apart. What Nora discovered was that, when you're in these hard moments, it can feel nearly impossible to feel even a shadow of the person you once were. People will give you all sorts of advice of how to hold onto your sanity and sense of self. But how exactly? How do you find that person again? Welcome to The Hot Young Widows Club. This is not a book with all of the answers, but it is a book with some of the answers to help you navigate life's biggest struggles. This is a book that will help you do your best when you're faced with the worst. Not because you're perfect, but because you care enough to try. The Hot Young Widows Club isn't just a book for people who have lost a spouse, but a book for anyone who has gone through a major life blow and is eager to learn how to regain their sense of self. Calling from her own experiences and those of her dedicated listeners, Nora will offer wise, heartfelt, and often humorous advice to any reader navigating a painful period in their lives. Full of practical guidance, Nora will also explore how readers can educate the people around them on what to do, what to say, and how to best support. Ultimately, this book is a space for people to recognise that they aren't alone, and to learn how to get through life's hardest moments with grace and humour.
`The small translucent bottle of shampoo outlived him. It was the kind you take home from hotels in distant places. For over a year it had sat on the shower shelf where he had left it. I looked at it every day.' After the death of her partner of thirty-two years, Lisa Appignanesi was thrust into a state striated by rage and superstition in which sanity felt elusive. The dead of prior generations loomed large and haunting. Then, too, the cultural and political moment seemed to collude with her condition: everywhere people were dislocated and angry. In this electrifying and brave examination of an ordinary enough death and its aftermath, Appignanesi uses all her evocative and analytic powers to scrutinize her own and our society's experience of grieving, the effects of loss and the potent, mythical space it occupies in our lives. With searing honesty, lashed by humour, she navigates us onto the terrain of childhood, the way it forms our feelings of love and hate, and steers us towards a less tumultuous version of the everyday. This book may be short, but life, death, madness, love, and grandchildren, are all there - seen through the eyes of a writer who is ever aware of the historical and current vagaries of woman's condition.
Award-winning writer and nurse Sallie Tisdale offers a lyrical, thought-provoking yet practical perspective on death and dying in this frank, direct and compassionate meditation on the inevitable. _______________________________________ From the sublime to the ridiculous, Tisdale leads the reader through the peaks and troughs of death with a calm, wise and humorous hand. More than a how-to manual or a spiritual bible, this is a graceful compilation of honest and intimate anecdotes based on the deaths Tisdale has witnessed in her work and life, as well as stories from cultures, traditions and literature around the world. As Tisdale explores all the heartbreaking, beautiful, terrifying, confusing, absurd and even joyful experiences that accompany the work of dying, she also addresses the meaning of 'a good death', how to communicate with the dying, loved ones, doctors and more, and what to expect, physically and emotionally, from the last months, days and hours of life. Beautifully written and compulsively readable, Advice for the Dying offers the resources and reassurance that we all need for planning the ends of our lives. It is essential reading for all of us.
London-born Kate Bowler, a thirty-five year-old professor at the school of divinity at Duke, had finally had a baby with her childhood sweetheart when she began to feel jabbing pains in her stomach. She lost thirty pounds, guzzled antacid, and visited doctors for three months before she was finally diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer.As Kate navigates the aftermath of her diagnosis, she pulls the reader into her life and her history - affectionately filled with a colourful retinue of friends, mega-church preachers, parents, and doctors - and shares her irreverent, laser-sharp reflections on faith, friendship, love, and death. She wonders why suffering makes her feel like a loser and explores the burden of positivity. Trying to relish the time she still has with her son and husband, she realizes she must cure her habit of `skipping to the end' and planning the next move. An historian of theAmerican Prosperity Gospel (the creed of the megachurches that promises believers a cure for tragedy, if they just want it badly enough) Kate finds that she craves these same 'outrageous certainties'. Why is it so hard to surrender when she knows there are no spiritual guarantees?In Everything Happens for Reason we encounter one of the talented, courageous few who - like Paul Kalanithi - can articulate the grief we feel as we contemplate our own mortality.
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 'Julie Yip-Williams conquered blindness and adversity only to be struck down. Her book is heartbreaking and necessary.' Guardian Eloquent, gutting and at times disarmingly funny ... a magnificent writer.' New York Times Born blind in Vietnam, Julie Yip-Williams narrowly escaped euthanasia at the hands of her grandmother, only to have to flee the political upheaval of the late 1970s with her family. Loaded into a rickety boat with three hundred other refugees, Julie made it to Hong Kong and, ultimately, America, where a surgeon gave her partial sight. Against all odds, she became a Harvard-educated lawyer, with a husband, a family, a life. Then, at the age of thirty-seven, with two little girls still at home, Julie was diagnosed with terminal metastatic colon cancer, and a different journey began. Growing out of a blog Julie kept for the last four years of her life, The Unwinding of the Miracle is the story of a vigorous life told through the prism of imminent death, of a life lived vividly and cut too short. With glorious humour, bracing honesty and the cleansing power of well-deployed anger, her story is inspiring and instructive, delightful and shattering. More than just a tale about cancer, it's about truth and honesty, fear and pain, our dreams, our jealousies. And it's about how to say goodbye to your children and a life you love. Starting as a need to understand the disease, it has evolved into a powerful story about living - even as Julie put her affairs in order and prepared to die. 'A searing memoir ... I didn't know Julie, but in these pages I grew to love her.' Lucy Kalanithi
A poignant and transporting cross-cultural love story set against the lush backdrop of the Sicilian countryside, where one woman discovers the healing powers of food, family, and unexpected grace in her darkest hour. It was love at first sight when Tembi met professional chef, Saro, on a street in Florence. There was just one problem: Saro's traditional Sicilian family did not approve of him marrying a black American woman, an actress no less. However, the couple, heartbroken but undeterred, forges on. They build a happy life in Los Angeles, with fulfilling careers, deep friendships and the love of their lives: a baby girl they adopt at birth. Eventually, they reconcile with Saro's family just as he faces a formidable cancer that will consume all their dreams. From Scratch chronicles three summers Tembi spends in Sicily with her daughter, Zoela, as she begins to piece together a life without her husband in his tiny hometown hamlet of farmers. Where once Tembi was estranged from Saro's family and his origins, now she finds solace and nourishment-literally and spiritually-at her mother in law's table. In the Sicilian countryside, she discovers the healing gifts of simple fresh food, the embrace of a close knit community, and timeless traditions and wisdom that light a path forward. All along the way she reflects on her and Saro's incredible romance-an indelible love story that leaps off the pages. In Sicily, it is said that every story begins with a marriage or a death-in Tembi Locke's case, it is both. Her story is about loss, but it's really about love found. Her story is about travel, but it's really about finding a home. It is about food, but it's really about chasing flavor as an act of remembrance. From Scratch is for anyone who has dared to reach for big love, fought for what mattered most, and needed a powerful reminder that life is...delicious.
Aged nine Joss came home from school to discover her father's suicide. She's never gotten over it. This is the true story of Joss, 13 who is angry and out of control. At the age of nine, Joss finds her father's dead body. He has committed suicide. Then her mother remarries and Joss bitterly resents her step-father who abuses her mentally and physically. Cathy takes Joss under her wing but will she ever be able to get through to the warm-hearted girl she sees glimpses of underneath the vehement outbreaks of anger that dominate the house, and will Cathy be able to build up Joss's trust so she can learn the full truth of the terrible situation?
Ask any woman whose mother has died, and she will tell you that she is irrevocably altered, as deeply changed by her mother's death as she was by her mother's life. Although a mother's mortality is inevitable, no book had discussed the profound, lasting and far-reaching effects of this loss - until Motherless Daughters, which became in instant classic. Over twenty years later, it is still the book that women of all ages look to for comfort and understanding when their mothers die, and the book that they continue to press into each other's hands. Building on interviews with hundreds of mother-loss survivors, the author's personal story of losing her mother and recent research in grief and psychology, Motherless Daughters reveals the shared experiences and core identity issues of motherless women. * * * * * * * 'Motherless Daughters is a timeless source of consolation and information for all who grieve the death of their mother. It highlights that we bear this loss by remembering, not forgetting our mother.' JULIA SAMUEL, author of Grief Works 'Anyone who has lost their mother should read this remarkable, tender book, full of insight and consolation. This is one of those exceptional books that has the power to change your life.' CLOVER STROUD, author of The Wild Other 'Nothing has helped me make more sense of myself than Motherless Daughters; it's the book I go back to again and again, and find something new in it every time.' DECCA AITKENHEAD 'Intelligent, brave, consoling and wise . . . an essential and illuminating must-read for anyone who has lost a mother or loves someone who did.' CHERYL STRAYED, author of Wild 'This book has helped me heal my heart. Finding myself in the stories of other motherless daughters let me know I was not alone. If you have lost your mom - this book is essential.' ROSIE O'DONNELL 'Absorbing . . . insightful . . . a moving and valuable treatment of a neglected subject.' NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Shortlisted for the 2017 PEN Ackerley Prize `The thing to remember about this story is that every word is true. If I never told it to a soul, and this book did not exist, it would not cease to be true. I don't mind at all if you forget this. The important thing is that I don't.' On a hot still morning on a beautiful beach in Jamaica, Decca Aitkenhead's life changed for ever. Her four-year-old boy was paddling peacefully at the water's edge when a wave pulled him out to sea. Her partner, Tony, swam out and saved their son's life - then drowned before her eyes. When Decca and Tony first met a decade earlier, they became the most improbable couple in London. She was an award-winning Guardian journalist, famous for interviewing leading politicians. He was a dreadlocked criminal with a history of drug-dealing and violence. No one thought the romance would last, but it did. Until the tide swept Tony away, plunging Decca into the dark chasm of random tragedy. Exploring race and redemption, privilege and prejudice, ALL AT SEA is a remarkable story of love and loss, of how one couple changed each other's lives and of what a sudden death can do to the people who survive.
'This book! Swedish, confessional, shockingly honest about desire, love, loss. I've read it twice now and can't stop thinking about Carolina. Utterly compulsive' MARIAN KEYES THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER The last night, I fall asleep believing we have thousands of days ahead of us. We don't. This night is our last night. One evening, Carolina says good night to her partner, Aksel. Things have been tough for both of them recently, especially with an eight-month-old son to raise. So when Aksel dies unexpectedly in the night, Carolina's world is turned upside down. Based on the author's own experiences, Let's Hope for the Best details the small moments of life before and after tragedy. It's a story about motherhood, family and the difficulties of loving someone who is distant, and then who is gone. Brave and unsparing, packed with emotion and humanity, it is about how the life we envisage for ourselves can be altered in an instant. What if one moment changed everything you've ever known?
'A remarkable account of illness, loss and the power of sibling love' The Times 'Wise's reflections on compassion fatigue are worth the price of this book alone, but what you take away is something splendid and unwearying: a sibling's devotion that feels remarkably like what we mean when we talk of a stage of grace.' Telegraph 'Inspirational... profoundly uplifting' Daily Mail 'Heartbreaking and inspiring in equal measure' Express 'This is a fantastic book ... Remarkable' Lorraine Kelly _______ A moving, thought-provoking and surprisingly humorous book which is both a description of a journey to death and a celebration of the act of living. Based on Clare Wise's blog, which she started when she was first diagnosed with cancer in 2013, Not That Kind of Love charts the highs and lows of the last three years of Clare's life. The end result is not a book that fills you with despair and anguish. On the contrary, Not That Kind of Love should be read by everybody for its candour, and for its warmth and spirit. Clare is an astonishingly dynamic, witty and fun personality, and her positivity and energy exude from every page. As she becomes too weak to type, her brother - the actor Greg Wise - takes over, and the book morphs into a beautiful meditation on life, and the necessity of talking about death. As Greg Wise writes in the book: 'Celebrate the small things, the small moments. If you find yourself with matching socks as you leave the house in the morning, that is a cause for celebration. If the rest of the day is spent finding the cure for cancer, or brokering world peace, then that's a bonus.'
'Extraordinary. It is about death, but I can think of few books which have such life. It shows us what love is.' Max Porter, author of Grief is the Thing With Feathers and Lanny 'There is no one quite like Naja Marie Aidt' Valeria Luiselli 'Devastating, angry, challenging, fragmented and filled with the beautiful hope that the love we have for people continues into the world even after they're gone.' Culturefly 'Fragmented, poetic, informative and truthful, Aidt faces the greatest loss we can ever know with all the force of great elegy writers like Anne Carson and Denise Riley. Essential.' Polly Clark, author of Larchfield and Tiger _______ "I raise my glass to my eldest son. His pregnant wife and daughter are sleeping above us. Outside, the March evening is cold and clear. 'To life!' I say as the glasses clink with a delicate and pleasing sound. My mother says something to the dog. Then the phone rings. We don't answer it. Who could be calling so late on a Saturday evening?" In March 2015, Naja Marie Aidt's 25-year-old son, Carl, died in a tragic accident. When Death Takes Something From You Give It Back is about losing a child. It is about formulating a vocabulary to express the deepest kind of pain. And it's about finding a way to write about a reality invaded by grief, lessened by loss. Faced with the sudden emptiness of language, Naja finds solace in the anguish of Joan Didion, Nick Cave, C.S. Lewis, Mallarme, Plato and other writers who have suffered the deadening impact of loss. Their torment suffuses with her own as Naja wrestles with words and contests their capacity to speak for the depths of her sorrow. This palimpsest of mourning enables Naja to turn over the pathetic, precious transience of existence and articulates her greatest fear: to forget. The insistent compulsion to reconstruct the harrowing aftermath of Carl's death keeps him painfully present, while fragmented memories, journal entries and poetry inch her closer to piecing Carl's life together. Intensely moving and quietly devastating, this is what is it to be a family, what it is to love and lose, and what it is to treasure life in spite of death's indomitable resolve.
Over the past quarter century Irvin Yalom has established himself as the world's leading group psychotherapist. In STARING AT THE SUN, he explores how the knowledge of our own mortality affects the unconscious mind of every human being. Tackling the effect of mankind's fear of death - both conscious and unconscious - on life and how we might live it, Yalom explains how we find ourselves in need of the comfort of therapy. At age 70 and facing his own fear of death, which he discusses in a special afterword, Dr Yalom tackles his toughest subject yet and finds it to be the root cause of patients' fears, stresses and depression. If therapists are to deliver 'the gift of therapy', they must confront the realities of life for themselves and their practice, as must we all.
A gentle guide for end of life care aimed at families and caregivers. Caring for the Dying describes a whole new way to approach death and dying. It explores how the dying and their families can bring deep meaning and great comfort to the care given at the end of a life. Created by Henry Fersko-Weiss, the end-of-life doula model is adapted from the work of birth doulas and helps the dying to find meaning in their life, express that meaning in powerful and beautiful legacies, and plan for the final days. The approach calls for around-the-clock vigil care, so the dying person and their family have the emotional and spiritual support they need along with guidance on signs and symptoms of dying. It also covers the work of reprocessing a death with the family afterward and the early work of grieving. Emphasis is placed on the space around the dying person and encourages the use of touch, guided imagery, and ritual during the dying process. Throughout the book Fersko-Weiss tells amazing and encouraging stories of the people he has cared for, as well as stories that come from doulas he has trained and worked with over the years. The guidance provided can help a dying person, their family, and caregivers to transform the dying experience from one of fear and despair into one that is uplifting and even life affirming. You will see death in a new light and gain a different perspective on how to help the dying. It may even change the way you live your life right now.
'A wonderful and very special book' Adam Kay, author of This is Going to Hurt 'I can't begin to express how much I love it' Caroline Criado-Perez, author of Invisible Women 'Like a master class in memoir writing. Honest, perceptive and properly funny.' Neil Gaiman 'LOVELY. Sad and funny and warm and DOGS' Marian Keyes 'I read it in one sitting - it's so blinking good' Lorraine Kelly 'Funny, sparklingly honest and heart-breaking' Bel Mooney, Daily Mail * * * The funny, heart-breaking, wonderfully told story of love, family and overwhelming loss which led Emily Dean to find hope and healing in the dog she always wanted. Growing up with the Deans was a fabulous training ground for many things: ignoring unpaid bills, being the most entertaining guest at dinner, deconstructing poetry. It was never home for the dog Emily craved. Emily shared the lively chaos with her beloved older sister Rachael, her rock. Over the years the sisters bond grew ever closer. As Rachael went on to have the cosy family and treasured dog, Giggle, Emily threw herself into unsettled adventure - dog ownership remaining a distant dream. Then, tragically, Rachael is diagnosed with cancer. In just three devastating years Emily loses not only her sister but both her parents as well. This is the funny heart-breaking, wonderfully told story of how Emily discovers that it is possible to overcome the worst that life can throw at you, that it's never too late to make peace with your past, and that the right time is only ever now, as she finally starts again with her very own dog - the adorable Shih-tzu named Raymond.
Born blind in Vietnam, Julie Yip-Williams narrowly escaped euthanasia planned by her grandmother, only to have to flee the political upheaval of the late 1970s with her family. Loaded into a rickety boat with three hundred other refugees, Julie made it to Hong Kong and, ultimately, America, where a surgeon gave her partial sight. Against all odds, she became a Harvard-educated lawyer, with a husband, a family, a life. Then, at the age of thirty-seven, with two little girls still at home, Julie was diagnosed with terminal metastatic colon cancer, and a different journey began. The Unwinding of the Miracle is the story of a vigorous life refracted through the prism of imminent death. Motherhood, marriage, ambition, love, wanderlust, tennis, grief, jealousy, anger, comfort, pain, disease - this is a book about a life lived well and cut cruelly short. With glorious humour, bracing honesty and the cleansing power of well-deployed anger, Julie has set the stage for her final legacy: the story of her life. Inspiring and instructive, delightful and shattering, this is not just a tale about cancer. It's about truth and honesty, fear and pain, our dreams, our jealousies and our anger. And it's about how to say goodbye to your children and a life you love. Starting as a need to understand the disease, it has evolved into a powerful story about living - even as Julie puts her affairs in order and prepares to die.
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