In the opening of Holding Silvan: A Brief Life, Monica Wesolowska gives birth to her first child, a healthy-seeming boy who is taken from her arms for "observation" when he won't stop crying. Within days, Monica and her husband have been given the grimmest of prognoses for Silvan, and they must make a choice about his life. The story that follows is not a story of typical maternal heroism. There is no medical miracle here. Instead, we find the strangest of hopes. Certain of her choice, Monica must still ask herself at every step if she is loving Silvan as well as a mother can. The result is a page-turning testimony to the power of love. By raising ethical questions about how a death can be good in the age of modern medicine, Holding Silvan becomes a joyous paean to what makes life itself good. Whether you have suffered profound loss or not, this book will change your life.
by Erica Jong
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