This Lovely Life and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $13.95
  • Save: $2.16 (15%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 15 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: 85%-90% New. No marks in and out. Item is Fulfilled by AMAZON - Eligible for FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping. Amazon Customer Service with Delivery Tracking. Receive your item in 3-5 Days!
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

This Lovely Life Paperback – July 23, 2009


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.79
$4.25 $1.00




Frequently Bought Together

This Lovely Life + Road Map to Holland: How I Found My Way Through My Son's First Two Years With Down Syndrome
Price for both: $23.14

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Original edition (July 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547232756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547232751
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Forman's enormously affecting memoir—winner of the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference Bakeless Prize—about 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 California, and aware of the daunting health issues facing these babies, begged the doctors to let them go. However, the doctors refused the do-not-resuscitate order, offering the infants every form of neonatal intensive care available, and while one of the twins died within days, the boy, Evan, survived, spending six months in the hospital before the family could take him home. Evan was plagued by severe developmental difficulties, including seizures, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, congenital heart defect and blindness, and the author writes with unflinching honesty about her raw fear and conflicted feelings. With time, Forman persevered as Evan's advocate, finding solace in friendships with other mothers of special-needs children and open to experimental therapies that might prove helpful. Numbed by the crass exigencies surrounding the burial of one child (cemetery plots, tax forms), and hardened by what she terms post-traumatic stress syndrome, Forman portrays herself (sometimes shockingly) as deeply flawed and forgivingly human. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“It would be difficult not to be stirred by Vicki Forman's story; but what makes This Lovely Life so good goes well past story and into idea, with which her book is so rich. The idea of love; of choice; of ambivalence; of imperfection; of purpose: these are all here, in a narrative that is propulsive, startling and vivid, like motherhood itself.”
—Meg Wolitzer, author of The Ten-Year Nap

“Intimate, compelling, and hopeful—an absolutely important book.
—Rachel Simon, author of Riding in the Bus with My Sister

“Vicki Forman's This Lovely Life is its own kind of koan--a story about death that is full of life, a story about loss rich with things gained, a story of letting go, while at the same time holding on tightly to what we love best. Spare, bracing, lovely.”—Jennifer Graf Groneberg, author of Road Map to Holland

“If such a heartbreaking story must be any parent's to tell at all, I'm thankful that it should fall to such a talented voice as Vicki Forman to bring it to the rest of us. Forman writes with sensitivity and clarity; her love is powerful and her eyes are wide open. This Lovely Life is a beautiful story of loss and love, and ultimately of understanding, one that left me shaken, haunted and deeply moved long after I finished reading.”
—Robert Rummel-Hudson, author of Schuyler's Monster

"Forman’s enormously affecting memoir…about the drastic disabilities of her extremely premature child poses challenging questions about parenthood and human compassion…. Forman portrays herself (sometimes shockingly) as deeply flawed and forgivingly human.
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED

"A searing tale of heartache and impressive depth of character" —Kirkus


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
26
4 star
4
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
1
See all 31 customer reviews
This Lovely Life is a story of courage, pain, hope and despair.
FM
I feel this author is very honest in the book, even describing things she said, thought and did that are not 'sweet' or 'motherly'.
Nancy
This is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching, unflinchingly honest memoir.
Lee Goldstein

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Rosa on July 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nancy on October 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am an avid reader, but this is one of the few books that was so overwhelming that I had to stop reading it and then come back to it. While of course I can never understand fully what the author went through, at times I was overwhelmed by all she was dealing with, and I was also very angry on her behalf (at the way she was treated numerous times by various medical professionals).

I feel this author is very honest in the book, even describing things she said, thought and did that are not 'sweet' or 'motherly'. I think that other books may sound better because the horror of what the kids (and their families) go through becomes 'worth it' -- and therefore fades a bit -- when their child eventually becomes able to walk, talk, and do the other things they expect their child to be able to do. But when those things do not happen, the idea that your child went through all sorts of painful/uncomfortable procedures without any success makes you even angrier, and to my mind, rightly so. While sometimes she comes across negatively, I was impressed with her energy and her devotion to her very sick kids.

I agree that medical professionals should read this book: it shows what being on the patient's/parent's end of this situation is like, and how even minor changes in how medical professionals treat people in this situation could help so much. Reading this book, I often wondered how the author would have been treated if she or her husband were doctors.

The author did encounter very helpful professionals, and she also learned to cut bait on the professionals who weren't helpful.

One thing that struck me was that the staff of the NICU 'forgot' to take a photo of her son when he was discharged to display on the wall, as they did with other NICU babies who left.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By avid reader on September 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow. This is a memoir that really stays with you. The only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars is that the writing - while being, overall, exceptional - felt rushed at the book's end. But the story of this mother and her journey with her micro-preemie twins Ellie (who passed away after 4 days after her birth) and Evan (whose life is the book's focus) is intense, real, and relatable. I don't honestly know if this book drew me in so quickly because I am a twin mother - I don't think so, but I'm just mentioning in case my opinion is unintentionally biased. I think, though, that I basically got drawn in because of the honesty and rawness of the writing, as well as the connection I could feel toward a mother who just tried her hardest to do whatever the right thing was by her fragile child. Perhaps not everyone will enjoy the book - it does not spare details about Evan's many struggles, operations, experimental therapies, and the overarching effect on the rest of the author's family - but provided you are ready for a real, "no Hollywood ending" story, it is amazing. Again, the only reason I didn't give it a full 5 stars is that I felt a mild disappointment at the very end of the book, because it seemed that the very last chapter or two of the book wasn't as intimate and fleshed out as the remainder. But that's a small quibble. Beautiful book; really stays with me.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By LK on June 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Levi on July 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before I decided to have children I remember speaking to many parents and asking them if parenthood was an endeavor that was worth taking on. They all said something like "oh, you have to do it, it's the best. . . " never alluding to the parts that weren't always the best. Of course, I went ahead and had kids and found out that it was the best. It was the greatest thing I've ever done. It was also the most difficult, the darkest, the most aggravating, the worst.

Reading Vicki Forman's book, you are reminded that you don't really know what voyage you are about the embark on when you start a family. Maybe that is part of the allure? Vicki Forman's book illuminates for the reader a part of the parenting experience that not many people see. The honest, pull no punches way she writes about certain experiences somehow come across as poetic in their brutal reality. Her fervent love for her children is weaved through every page. The raw pain and her families attempt to make sense of it all is palpable. It is an honest, beautiful book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search