A humble and humbling saga of spirituality and service.

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Keeping Kyrie

A TRUE STORY OF FAITH, FAMILY, AND FOSTER CARE

In this debut memoir, a Mormon convert discusses being a foster parent to dozens of children and ultimately adopting six with special needs. 

Christensen begins her narrative by recounting the 2015 emergency helicoptering of her foster baby Kyrie from their home state of Oklahoma to a Cincinnati Children’s Hospital that was better equipped to handle the infant’s challenging health care needs; the child was born with Pierre Robin syndrome, a disorder that causes facial and airway abnormalities. The author then proceeds to comment on other key milestones of her life, particularly during five years in which she converted to the Mormon faith, decided to get cochlear implants, battled ovarian cancer, dealt with her parents’ deaths, got married, and committed to foster parenting. Christensen and her husband, Nathan, fostered some 70 children during this period and ending up adopting six with special needs, including Kyrie. Christensen focuses on the baby’s grueling, touch-and-go surgeries (during which the author believed a chaplain’s soft humming helped keep the child alive), her own multiple miscarriages, her shock over her mother’s death in a car accident, and many custody hearings and adoption processes. She concludes the book with her joy over having a family of six children and the fact that their adoptions were both sanctioned by the secular court and celebrated in the ceremonies of her beloved Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The author has crafted a powerful memoir that skillfully unspools its dramatic anecdotes from Kyrie’s airlift onward, effectively showcasing Christensen’s awe-inspiring commitment to demonstrating her faith—most significantly, through her parenting. Her use of flashback and flash-forward techniques makes the chronology of her life unclear at times, though, and the account of her troubled early adulthood before her spiritual rebirth is underdeveloped. Still, she ultimately engages readers with her musing narrative, which is admirably infused with sympathy for the struggling, often drug-addicted parents who gave up their children for adoption.

A humble and humbling saga of spirituality and service.

Pub Date: July 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9977588-0-1

Page Count: 312

Publisher: HWC Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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