Thursday, January 01, 2009

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

Elizabeth McCracken wrote a beautiful book called An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination. I read it in two days.

At the beginning: "A baby dies in this book..." That tells us what to expect, but as in life, it doesn't prepare us for when it happens. McCracken takes us through a year in rural France, spent pregnant, that ends terribly. It's a frank, often hurt, sometimes hardened and always honest telling of a terrible terrible thing.

McCracken tells her story in progressive fragments, going only so far with a particular thread of the story line as she seems able, before having to pull back, move on to a different subject to regain perspective, or to hold on to poise.

Our good friend Kimberly recommended this book to us, and we're both glad she did. This hit hard. It scratched at some still-raw wounds, set to nagging some of our own lingering questions, and forced another walk through our own worst months. But in this sadness there is beauty, as in much sadness, and painful and difficult though it was, recasting our own history in the light of literature is if nothing else a way of dealing with things. I'm glad for the opportunity to read this book.

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