Tuesday 3 November 2015

Review ~ Holding Avery by Heidi Chandler

M P Publishing

When her otherwise healthy, even idyllic, first pregnancy ends in the sudden and terrible stillbirth of daughter Avery, Heidi Chandler and her husband are left at a total loss. Looking into Avery’s perfect face, one that never cooed or cried, Heidi realizes how much her life has changed.Holding Avery is a raw exploration of life after the death of a child. Heidi Chandler unapologetically recounts her heartache — the fears and doubts that come with knowing she is a mother but without a child to care for. The unabashed honesty of her grief will resonate with anyone who has experienced loss and found that the question why? may always go unanswered. But Heidi learns that moving through the tragedy is not impossible. 

This is not something that I would usually choose to pick up and read, as I find memoirs about lost children such an emotional subject, but having had two easy and healthy pregnancies, I am of course, always sympathetic to the plight of those women who sadly, do not find it easy to accomplish their heart's desire. I can also look back to my midwifery career and see again those women who were devastated by the stillbirth of a much longed for child. To see mothers broken by loss,and uncontrolled by their grief is heartbreaking, and no matter how professional, you silently cry with them, because you know that there but for the grace of God..

Holding Avery is a beautifully written love story to Heidi Chandler's lost daughter, Avery. It's angry and heartbreaking in equal measure, but there is also a heartwarming message that tragedy can be overcome. I found it difficult to read in places as the emotion is so very raw but it's also compassionately realistic, and for that I applaud the author's reasons for expressing her sorrow so publicly.

My thanks to Nickta Rowaichi at MP Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.


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