The touching, unforgettable story of two brave girls fighting a deadly disease and the loving support of the women who gave...

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Two Mothers One Prayer

FACING YOUR CHILD'S CANCER WITH HOPE, STRENGTH, AND COURAGE

Shared memoir of two mothers whose daughters are fighting cancer, by artist, writer, and self-help coach Lane (I Am the Wind, 2011) and Nersten, a home-schooling mom.

Two 12-year-old girls battled the same rare form of cancer, virtually simultaneously. Through the Internet—CarePages specifically—their mothers, Lane and Nersten, connected and eventually formed a deep bond, borne of shared experience. While Celeste in Toronto and Hayley in New Jersey dealt with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, their mothers offered each other support and love via email, and the girls grew close via Skype. Despite the fact that the daughters and mothers shared an unusual diagnosis, similar treatment protocol, and strong faith, they are different in many ways. Lane is divorced from Celeste’s father, and her daughter had been living with her father two hours away. During Celeste’s treatment, Lane enjoyed the rare gift of spending hours on end with her daughter, as she and Celeste’s stepmother, Michelle, alternated days in the hospital. Knowing at the outset that one girl will survive—but not which one—makes the story more poignant. Though undeniably sad, the memoir is never maudlin, instead managing to inspire hope and admiration as a young girl chooses how she wishes to spend her final days. Conveyed via prose, email messages, and Facebook posts, the memoir reads quickly, seeming far shorter than its 200-plus pages. Although both women are deeply caring mothers who rely heavily on their faith, their different personalities emerge: Lane is the artist, seeking creative outlets for her feelings, while Nersten is a nurturer, spending her rare time away from Hayley with her other two children and constantly expressing concern for Lane’s custody situation. Although the authors intended their book for parents facing a child’s cancer diagnosis, the memoir serves as an inspirational story of hope for the general reader. Hayley and Celeste were heartbreakingly, unbelievably strong.

The touching, unforgettable story of two brave girls fighting a deadly disease and the loving support of the women who gave them life.

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Ulukau Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

ECONOMIC DIGNITY

Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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