From Publishers Weekly
While "20 to 25 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage," this heartbreaking loss is rarely discussed at length in pregnancy handbooks. Editor Gross decided to break this silence by assembling an anthology of essays by women who'd experienced miscarriages and were willing to write about it. Most of her contributors are freelance writers, academics or wives of academics. Even if they hadn't planned or wanted their pregnancies, all experienced their miscarriages as the death of a loved one. Demolished with grief, they found little usable sympathy, even from those who meant well. Some had understanding spouses; most only got real support from other women who'd also miscarried. Most went on to bear another child; some, like editor Gross, decided to adopt; a rare few decided their future did not include children (or more children). One contributor, Miranda Field, mentions positive rituals for grieving mothers in Japan, but aside from that there are few voices outside of the white, middle-class. Readers in search of something broader in scope might find it in Peggy Orenstein's Waiting for Daisy
. Still, Gross's anthology fills a void and may open the door for more varied ones. (Jan.)
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"A chance to read narratives that offer a sense of kinship for all shapes of grief (stillbirth, early miscarriage, multiple miscarriages). ....A vivid glimpse of what these experiences feel like and of how one might reach through their suffering to console." -- Nell Casey, Cookie Magazine
"These stories help family members and friends understand the would-be mother's feelings of pain and loss." -- USA Weekend
As many as one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, yet often women find themselves alone in their grief because of the silence surrounding the subject. Editor Berger Gross (creative nonfiction, Harvard Extension Sch.) hopes this collection of personal narratives by such writers as Joyce Maynard and Susanna Sonnenberg will "serve as a starting point for more conversations, both private and public, about miscarriage, so that women and their partners won't have to go on grieving in silence." These women's stories, divided into three sections-"Searching for Meaning," "In the Thick of It," and "Mourning and Moving On"-are intimate and often heart-wrenching. Several of the authors grieved pregnancies for which they had planned and hoped, while others were surprised at the intensity of their grief at the loss of an unplanned pregnancy. One woman found that suffering a miscarriage just days before her already scheduled appointment for an abortion did not alleviate her grief. Others speak of the potential contradiction of grieving the loss of a fetus while maintaining their prochoice stance. A powerful collection of personal stories recommended for all public libraries. -- Mindy Rhiger, Library Journal