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Thursday, July 16, 2009

This Lovely Life by Vicki Forman

This Lovely Life
Publisher: Mariner Books
ISBN: 0547232756
Pages:  272 pgs
Genre: Memoir
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Product Description:

Vicki Forman gave birth to Evan and Ellie, weighing just a pound at birth, at twenty-three weeks’ gestation. During the delivery she begged the doctors to "let her babies go" — she knew all too well that at twenty-three weeks they could very well die and, if they survived, they would face a high risk of permanent disabilities. However, California law demanded resuscitation. Her daughter died just four days later; her son survived and was indeed multiply disabled: blind, nonverbal, and dependent on a feeding tube.

This Lovely Life tells, with brilliant intensity, of what became of the Forman family after the birth of the twins — the harrowing medical interventions and ethical considerations involving the sanctity of life and death. In the end, the longdelayed first steps of a five-year-old child will seem like the fist-pumping stuff of a triumph narrative. Forman’s intelligent voice gives a sensitive, nuanced rendering of her guilt, her anger, and her eventual acceptance in this portrait of a mother’s fierce love for her children.

My Review:

I know I have been remiss in reviewing This Lovely Life and it is not from any fault of the book. It is because I have been waiting for the right time to read it. A time where I would be emotionally able to deal with the subject matter of this book. I needed to be sufficiently busy so I could step away from the book if I needed to, cheerful enough so I would not become overwhelmed with sadness and sensitive enough so that I could properly engage with the story.

This Lovely Life was heartbreaking to say the least. It was gut twisting following Vicki through her early days with her twins to the death of her daughter, Ellie,  to the treatments her son, Evan, had to go through. I admire Vicki for how strong she was throughout. Even though it is a mother’s job to be strong for her children despite all of the obstacles (as my mother says), a woman of weaker stuff would have crumbled under the pressure in the beginning but Vicki just kept trudging on and I really admire her for that. I was also absolutely flummoxed at some of the doctors behavior. They seemed to be more interested in protecting their statistics than the life of a baby. To tell you the truth it made me quite sick.

This book was one of the reading highlights of my year. The writing was beautiful. There is, however, a lot of medical language involved but not so much that you will need to sit with a dictionary. My mother is also a nurse in a hospital nursery, so, I grew up with the terminology and language used in those wards. This is not a book that will be an easy read. It will take a strong emotional investment to be able to fully appreciate this book.  It will rip your heart out but the book shows the rewards of loving and fighting for the people we love.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.

1 comment:

  1. [...] 35.The Darcys and the Bingleys-Marsha Altman 36. The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal-Sean Dixon 37. This Lovely Life-Vicki Forman 38. The Divorce Party-Laura Dave 39. The Plight of the Darcy Brothers-Marsha Altman [...]



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