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Mo(u)rning Joy Paperback – September 7, 2015
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And still, Kalan’s story is not easy to forget. Because it is about a boy who was and was not. A story of a boy who came into this world through agonizing pain and suffering. A boy who never got the chance to see a bit of this world, which is so crazy and so wrong, but which is so beautiful and so exceptional.
I think I know now why I couldn’t review this book. I was scared of writing something that might have hurt the author. She had suffered and she had learned to live with her pain. What if I wrote something without even realizing I was causing pain? It stopped me from writing a review for almost a month.
Mo(u)rning Joy is the story of parents looking forward to the birth of their first child. But the child was never born. There was lot of pain, physical and mental. There was a lot of anger. So much that sometimes I had to stop reading. It was too much for me. I have never been pregnant, I don’t know how I would react if anything like that happened to me. Knowing that your child has died inside you and having to wait for another day, then going through endless pain that doesn’t come to an end. Would I be as angry with people around me? People who had nothing to do with my pain? Would I take every word of comfort with so much hostility? I don’t know. And I am not going to judge.
I’m an atheist; I don’t believe in gods, prayers, and heaven. I don’t know if there is afterlife, or if there has been a “beforelife”; I admit I don’t always understand religious people. Or maybe I never understand them, their obsession with prayers and their gods. So maybe I am not the best person to review a book written by a religious person. Maybe that was another reason I couldn’t review this book for such a long time. Even now, when I think about it, I’m not sure how I feel. There are so many mixed feelings, so many abrupt thoughts lurking in my head. And I can’t hold onto them, I am still thinking. I guess if a book makes you think after a month, it doesn’t matter if you liked it or not. It means that it gave you something. Call it a knowledge. Or an experience.
And while I have managed to forget some of the details of this story, I remember the boy.
His name is Caswell. And this is his story.
I thought this memoir was very well written and easy to read which sounds a bit of a strange thing to say when it concerns such an incredibly hard subject-but the author expertly gets you interested and involved. I liked how she didn’t spend a long time setting background info and had very short chapters or scenes-it was straight in, brutal, she was having to go through labour, knowing her baby had already died. After such shocking revelations you can’t help but read on.
I like how there are many ‘write as you talk’ expressions in here etc. These created a few smiles, the author could often be witty-and think on the subject. She manages to raise a few little chuckles in the way she retells her story and I found this remarkable.
The sweet cover pic is also used at the start of chapters and there is a significance to this picture which is revealed later on in the book. I started this very late at night and it held my attention straight away. I read up to 25% without stopping and didn't want to put it down. I read it in just a couple of days.
I didn't realise that the incidence of stillbirth is this much-1 in 160 births? Reading memoirs on this subject makes you realise how many people take having babies for granted; for some people it is a very long and very hard road and it’s amazing how they get through everything. I’m sure the author’s story will help and inspire many others in the same situation and will educate others on the sidelines looking in.
Mo(u)rning Joy is a memoir of a woman who walked through the valley and found the strength to carry on. It's for women who have also walked a similar path and it's for women, everyone really, who want to walk alongside those dear women, wives, daughters, sisters and friends to try and help make sense of the often times senseless loss.