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Review: An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

August 22, 2008

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination is a memoir written by Elizabeth McCracken and published by Hachette Book Group. It will be available for purchase on September 10.

Elizabeth McCracken was happy in her life as a single woman until she met and fell in love with Edward Harvey. They married and since they are both writers, they lived a migratory life. In 2006, Elizabeth and Edward were living in France and expecting a baby. The pregnancy was uncomplicated, but they were still cautious – not naming the baby or preparing for it too soon. Late in the pregnancy, Elizabeth realized that the baby wasn’t moving as much as he once did, so they visited their midwife. After and examination, the midwife said “I wish he would respond more, but it is not serious.” Later that day, their baby died, and Elizabeth had to go through an agonizing stillborn delivery. They left France and eventually moved to America, where they had a healthy baby boy (Gus) a year and three days after the stillbirth.

When I was pregnant with Gus, toward the end especially, there was nothing in my life that was not bittersweet. Every piece of hope was tinged with sadness; every moment of relief was lit on the edges with worry. But now that Gus is Stateside, my love for him is just plain love, just plain sweet.

Elizabeth says, “This is the happiest story in the world with the saddest ending”, but I think it’s just the opposite. It’s a sad story, but Elizabeth doesn’t wallow in self pity, and it has a wonderfully happy ending. Through her vivid descriptions, I felt the pain and suffering they went through. This is an emotional book that is full of hope. I admire the incredible strength, courage and love that Elizabeth and Edward possess. I learned that it is better to say the wrong thing than nothing at all to the grieving, and that grieving goes on much longer than sympathy does. This book moved me to tears, but by the end of the book, my sorrow had turned to joy.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2008 9:42 am

    Sounds like a wonderful, touching, ultimately uplifiting story. Thanks for the review.

    Unfortunately, my recent reading hasn’t been so good.

  2. August 22, 2008 12:26 pm

    I love the title! Sounds like a great book…I always like your reviews!!

  3. stacybuckeye permalink
    August 22, 2008 4:10 pm

    Great review! This isn’t usually my type of book, but this sounds interesting. Yet another title to add to my ever growing list.

  4. October 1, 2008 2:19 pm

    This sounds like the same thing my sister went through a year ago. My sister is due to deliver another boy next week, and I pray that she has the same happy ending as the author. I think my sis would get a lot out of reading this book. Thanks for the great review!

  5. June 3, 2009 1:14 am

    I’ve had this on my TBR list but was so afraid that it was going to be too depressing so I kept putting it off. Thanks for letting me know that there’s an upside!

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