Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Memes: The Unfinished Child

Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where you can share the first paragraph, or a few, of a book you are reading or thinking about reading soon.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

Today I am spotlighting The Unfinished Child by Theresa Shea

Theresa Shea's first book explores female friendships, prenatal testing, infertility, and Down syndrome. Shea tackles a complex moral issue with great sensitivity. This is a must read not only for parents in the Down syndrome community but for all parents, and for anyone who appreciates masterful story-telling.

When Marie MacPherson, a mother of two, finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at thirty-nine, she feels guilty. Her best friend, Elizabeth, has never been able to conceive, despite years of fertility treatments. Marie's dilemma is further complicated when she becomes convinced something is wrong with her baby. She then enters the world of genetic testing and is entirely unprepared for the decision that lies ahead.

Intertwined throughout the novel is the story of Margaret, who gave birth to a daughter with Down syndrome in 1947, when such infants were defined as "unfinished" children. As the novel shifts back and forth through the decades, the lives of the three women converge, and the story speeds to an unexpected conclusion.

With skill and poise, debut novelist Theresa Shea dramatically explores society's changing views of Down syndrome over the past sixty years. The story offers an unflinching and compassionate history of the treatment of people with Down syndrome and their struggle for basic human rights. Ultimately, The Unfinished Child is an unforgettable and inspiring tale about the mysterious and complex bonds of family, friendship, and motherhood.

Opening Paragraph
    At five in the morning, Margaret felt her water break -- as if a crystal had been shattered by a lone, high note. An invisible hand, or perhaps the unborn child’s deft heel, flicked a switch and the floodgate opened. As the warm liquid rushed from her body she moved as quickly as her lumbering figure would allow from her reclined position on the couch, where she’d been elevating her feet to relieve the swelling in her ankles, to a standing position beside it. It’s time, she thought calmly. Finally it’s time.

My Teaser
    Four women cried their eyes out for every one who threw a party. She had never won anything in her life, and after years of trying to get pregnant naturally, she wasn’t feeling the least bit lucky.
page 30
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  1. Oh my...that opening sure grabbed my attention!

    My TT

  2. I've never read a description of water breaking, but this sounds like it could be right! I feel like this could be a really tragic, yet beautiful read! Thank you for sharing and stopping by :)
    Juli @ Universe in WOrds

  3. This sounds like a special book. I love the cover. The term 'unfinished child' is one I've never heard of and it's so sad. I'd read this. Thanks for stopping by Write Note Reviews.

  4. A must read for everyone! I will check it out!

    Here is my intro post!


    Here is my teaser post

  5. Wow. Intense and extremely emotional topic. This past year I've watched a friend go through something similar - this would be a good book to pass along.

    Thanks for coming by mine today from The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street

  6. She is very calm for someone who's water just broke. Nice teaser. Here's mine

  7. This sounds like a promising novel! I love the cover, too.

  8. Sounds like such a poignant read...and I would definitely keep reading. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  9. Sounds like an emotional read, probably not the right time for me to read this book.

  10. This does sound like it would be a worthwhile read, one that will be emotional and possibly inspiring. I would keep reading.

  11. Interesting teaser. Hope you enjoy. Here is my TT http://cynthiastacey.com/2014/04/15/teaser-tuesday-april-15/

  12. I would love to read this book. Though I don't have any personal experience with Down's Syndrome, I do find the topic very interesting.

  13. I would read more, I think I might like this one. enjoy Kim

  14. Wow - that sounds like an emotionally tough read. I feel like it would probably be powerful, but would have to get myself mentally ready to read it.

  15. I'd keep going with this one. The story description sounds like my kind of book.