A writer weaves together stories of lost motherhood in this combination of memoir, Bible study, and self-help manual.
Abortions, miscarriages, stillbirths, premature labor, tragic accidents—all devastating events of child loss that leave women full of grief, shame, and bitterness. Debut author Upshaw herself has lost children, Sunshine and Daniel, one by abortion and one by premature labor. Therefore, she is no stranger to the overwhelming spectrum of emotions that accompany child loss, allowing her to write deeply poignant passages like this one: “Bitterness is not a momentary reaction to a singular event. It is a brewing stew of hurt, sadness, confusion, and despair that culminates into a lingering, subtle anger so gnawing that you don’t care who sees or hears it.” But through the years, her sorrow has been mended by the grace of God, especially as she has found similar stories from women in the Bible, her sacred partners “in genuine female hurt.” Each chapter begins with a modern tale connected to child loss, most of them the author’s. After that, Upshaw turns back to Old and New Testament times, describing characters and events in lucid detail and extracting profound meaning from often just a few verses. For example, she compares her desire for her son’s proper burial with the story of Rizpah, who protectively watched over her sons’ bodies until they could be buried, a selfless act that inspired even King David. Other notable characters include Elimelech’s wife, Naomi, whose children died; Hannah, who suffered infertility; and Tamar, a victim of rape. The modern accounts are just as varied—abortion for a variety of reasons, adoption, the deaths of children at birth or in their early years, sexual assault, and the role of caretakers—making the stories relevant to a wide range of female readers. Upshaw writes eloquently and openly, with compassion and without condemnation, leaving readers with the unequivocal message that they are not alone and that there is always hope for recovery.
This diverse and articulate book can help countless women move from heartbreak to healing, shedding their shame and soothing their souls one page at a time.
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").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)