Book Review: An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

Earlier this week I mentioned that by reading and reading lots I am happening across some really good writing. This book is an example of that. I wouldn't be surprised to learn, however, that this particular book is writing on a different plane than any of her other work, though this is the only book of hers I've read. I say that because it's a book from the depths of her grief, from a different place in her soul than she would use to write the fiction she usually writes.

This book is a memoir of her having a stillborn baby, then one year later a healthy baby. It's more the story of walking through the grief of losing the baby, and finding a way to keep breathing beyond that. As odd as it sounds, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and truly think that anyone who has lost a child, particularly a baby, would find comfort in this book.
Sunday Phil spoke on 2 Corinthians 1:3-7:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
Or, as one man summed up: God doesn't comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.
I think that's what this book does (though she very openly admits she has no use for religion or God) -- I would imagine that it would be comforting to hear someone tell a story so beautifully of what it is like. She wrote some things that I thought (from the vantage point of never miscarrying, never losing a child): "Yes, I would imagine I might feel that way..."
The thing she wrote that touched me the most was: "This is the happiest story in the world with the saddest ending." She meant her life with her husband, and her pregnancy, what wonderful times they were. She wrote that to herself days after her baby died, because she didn't want to forget the beautiful times that came to such an ugly end.
Beautifully written, very oddly hopeful, even with the sad topic, and a reminder never to assume anything about your future. A quick, long afternoon read. I highly recommend it.
Updated: I've had two people who have lost children under similar circumstances ask me if they should read the book. Honestly, I had those people in mind as I read it and wrote this review. Absolutely, I would IMAGINE (having not walked that road) that it would be valuable to hear another's view point on that. HOWEVER, it would definitely pick and poke at that wound in your soul. If you're still raw or struggling to heal, it may be too much. But if you're still struggling to heal, (don't hear me saying 'get over' -- I know you won't and no one is expecting you to) I THINK it would help to read this and put into words what it may be like. In short, I think you should give it a try. If it's too much, put it down and consider a different time in your life for it.


Anne said...

Knowing where I have been...having a stillborn baby and then one year later having a healthy baby, should I read this one? And if the answer is yes, I feel sure you will suggest a large box of tissue nearby...

Amanda Sanders said...

thanks for spotlighting this book. I will check it out.

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