Friday, September 26, 2008

The Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

The Exact Replica of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken.
This is one of my favorite authors. I read her previous book,Giant House.
I had wondered why I have not seen her work in a few years. The memoir explains.
From the the flap of the book:

A prizewinning successful novelist in her 30's. Elizabeth McCracken was happy to be a itinerant writer and self proclaimed spinster. Then she fell in love, got married, and continued her life of writting, traveling, and teaching with her husband. Two years ago she found herself in a remote
part of France, waiting for the birth of her first child.
This book is what happens next, in the next 9 months her pregnancy, a baby is lost.
Just over a year later, a baby is born. In a profoundly moving display of humor, heart,
and unfailing generosity. McCracken tells account t her story.
It is a story of true love and unfathomable sadness. It is a story of true of couragous recovery and bittersweet moments, of steadfast memories and deep affection. It is a story of the importance of friendship. It is a story of happiness and hope.

Anyone who has ever experienced loss, or loves someone who has, will hope to go on with with the company of the remarkable book.
I am not giving you my whole review. But I will give you sentence or two.
I would not have picked up this book if it was not for the book blog tour that is being offered
by Mariam from Hatchett books
I thought I would have to force myself to read this book. But I was wrong. It drew me in from the start. She writes as though she is talking to you at the kitchen table having coffee.
This book is a memoir about her first child that was still born and, another born a year later born healthy.
Elizabeth writes about the loss of her first child. She writes why she has decided to write the book.
And now I am thinking about that Florida lady again, the one who wanted a book about the lighter side of a child's death, and I know:all she wanted was permission to remember her child with pleasure instead of grief.
The book was bitter sweet. The book was not intensely sad which I was surprised.
It was to read, almost at the same breath she talks about the loss of her firs t child and preparing for the birth, and happiness of her second child, Gus. You would expect her to be sad. But she pulls herself from the boot straps and goes on. It must have been very hard to go into labor know your child will not come out of the birth canal alive. I just can't imagine.

But this book is not just about how to deal with loss of a child, but of any loss. It made all of us, who read this book. Should we say how sorry we are, or not say anything. The author wanted her friends to acknowledge the loss of her child. One of her friends did not contact her for months. Elizabeth could not accept this. She has not spoken to her since. This made me realize no mater how hard it is, at least acknowledge the sorrow and death. We need to talk to that person no matter how hard it is. I don't know anyone that has lost a child but I can relate this to anyone that has lost someone.
Here is a review at The New York Times
To coincide with the book tour I will be having my first contest. The giveaway is The Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination. Just leave a comment by Monday and I will have the drawing on Tuesday at 11:59 PM. To get two chances write about this contest on your blog.
Enjoy reading a chapter excerpt HERE!
Or an audio excerpt HERE!
Get to know Elizabeth better on Facebook HERE!
Your next stop will be Allison

This is the list of sites participating in th book blogging tour

Megan of
Tricia of
Corinne of
Antonette of
Swapna of
Luanne of
Carrie of
Allison of
Bethany of
Marie of
The Kool Aid Mom of
Nicole of


Anonymous said...

I loved this book. I think what struck me was the fact that they didn't wallow in their pity. It also made me think about how I should act when someone else suffers a loss.

Mary said...

I listened to the discussion with Ann Patchett this week on Book Club Girl about her book Run. When asked what Patchett's favorite author, books are she mentioned this book. Said it was wonderful. Sounds like you agree!

Elizabeth McCracken said...

Two weeks later, I'm just catching up....

Dear Seaside Book Worm--

Thank you so much for this lovely post. Still strange to think the book is out in the world, and I'm so grateful to know what people think.


Elizabeth (McCracken)

Marie said...

Her book was really good and beautifully written. It stays with you for a long time.

photoquest said...

I would love to be in your contest for this book heard many good things about it.