A fierce and fact-filled love story with few holds barred.

JUNIPER

THE GIRL WHO WAS BORN TOO SOON

Two skilled journalists collaborate on the most personal of stories: their extremely premature daughter’s struggle to survive.

Thomas French (Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives, 2010, etc.), who won a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 1998, and Kelley French (Journalism/Indiana Univ.), who launched this project with the series “Never Let Go” (a Pulitzer nominee) in the Tampa Bay Times, write alternate chapters in their latest book. Before the daughter appears in the narrative, the authors set the stage for her arrival by telling of Kelley’s longing for a baby, the couple’s late-blooming, on-again, off-again romance, their failed attempts to conceive a child, their decision to use donor eggs, Kelley’s pregnancy, and Juniper’s cesarean delivery four months early. Knowing that her chances of survival were slim, the Frenches opted to ask the doctors to try, and the rest of their story is set primarily in All Children’s Hospital’s neonatal care unit. Thomas’ chapters reflect the fact that as a journalist, he kept extensive daily notes of his observations and his actions (he read Harry Potter aloud and played Bruce Springsteen songs to Juniper) in the unit during those long months; Kelley’s, which include portions of her Times series, are less specific and more reflective. The authors also provide a capsule history of neonatal care. Inevitably, there are crises, times when death seems close, but with a photograph of a toddler on the cover, readers are spared the suspense suffered by the parents. The authors raise questions about the enormous cost of saving a single life when the same funds could provide health care for countless children, and they are aware of the great risks of permanent damage to an extreme preemie undergoing lifesaving procedures. But for them, their daughter’s life was priceless, and the risk paid off.

A fierce and fact-filled love story with few holds barred.

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-316-32442-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 25, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

more