Published: 28/03/2014
ISBN: 9781783062447
eISBN: 9781783067879
Format: Paperback/eBook



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A Shining Space
A Daughter's Life
by Ailsa Fabian

A Shining Space: A Daughter’s Life is the biography of Sarah Eugenie Fabian, who died suddenly at the age of five, after a fortunate and happy life. It is also the story of a mother’s conversion from ignorance and indifference about babies to astonished love and admiration – and the postponement of a career for a period of full-time parenthood.

“I started almost at once to write about her, in the hope that something of the miracle of love and life that she had been for us could be saved from oblivion and shared with others. ”

Based on memories recorded whilst the essence of her vibrant self was still vividly present, the story has a unique immediacy, along with the atmosphere, scope and narrative pace of a novel. A Shining Space: A Daughter’s Life will appeal in general to fans of biographies, and will resonate with both young and beareaved parents.

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Appreciations of The Sarah Journals


I have never read a book quite like it. Aside from learning much about the process of grief, I was moved by your sheer persistence in wanting to understand Sarah’s death. You are both inside and outside your experience, both the person who experiences the trauma and the writer who observes your changing attitudes and emotional responses. . . You show us everything. Your exasperation, your numbness and sorrow, your frustration and rage, and your struggle to find a way to live, to go on. I liked very much the way in which you turn to literature (this is one of the great strengths of the book in my mind), not uncritically, but weighing up the truth and relevance of every quotation against your own experience… You should be enormously proud of what you have achieved.
Mark McKenna


I would like to thank you so much for your book The Sarah Journals. It is the finest book on loss I have ever read. I am most grateful to you for the writing and also the sharing of such profound and innermost thoughts. You introduced me to poets I have not read and also to powerful ideas which will guide me on my bereavement journey.
Mary McCalman



Female First

Goodreads

Goodreads

This book tells the memories a mother has about her daughter's 5 years of life. She talks about her daily life, the way she played, the way she loved and everything in between. This mother had never thought of ever wanting to be a mother but when she did become one she found that it was the most fabulous thing ever. Sarah (her daughter) died a 5 from a serious illness and it was quite hard on her and her husband and on their son. I highly recommend this book to everyone to read. It is quite thought provoking and touching. I wish I could give more than the 5 that I have given.

by Marjorie Boyd-Springer


Very sweet, touching story of a mother's memories of the life of a daughter list much too early. While I enjoyed it, it ended very abruptly. I actually went back and forth several times trying to fund the pages I knew I must have missed.

by Laurie Cory


The loss of a child is no less than losing a piece of yourself. Forever. It's simply not the natural order of things. Burying a child means that your life is forever colored. You view things through two lenses: before the loss and after the loss. And you never take for granted that having a child means that you will never say goodbye forever to another one. You live holding your breath every time your teenager goes out and doesn't answer calls or texts. Your heart skips a beat when your tween is not where he says he would be when you pick him up from school. The shadow of grief and the whisper of loss surround your every move. I know. I, too, am a reluctant card carrying member of this unwitting club.

Having lived through this horror myself, I was intrigued by the blurb of Ailsa Fabian's book and immediately began reading it. I was touched by a young mother's heart growing exponentially as her first born began to envelope every waking moment of her life. Her honesty (or ignorance) about desiring to go back to the work that gratified her almost immediately after beginning her family gave way to a quiet acquiescence of her role in the family. Our roles in life, as most mothers in the 1960's (and some would argue even now) discovered, have a season. Fabian gave way to the motherhood season of her life with gusto and loved first her daughter, and then her son with gusto.

The pages are ripe with memories of vacations and a quiet, almost easy life in comparison to today's standards full of extra hands on deck to assist with the child rearing. Her writing is not easy to follow, and the book took longer to unfold because of it. Yet in the pages, one could sense the absolute love for a child long ago lost. My one grievance was the abrupt way in which the book ended. I thought perhaps I had skipped a chapter or missed the epilogue. Alas, there was not one mention of young Sarah's illness, her mother's fear and ultimate grief, or of the family's workings after such a tragic loss. And while I enjoyed reading her memories of the idyllic childhood that she provided for her daughter, that was the ultimate reason why I placed her book ahead of the all the others in the first place.

It must be mentioned that A Shining Space is being published as the author is the ripe age of 93. A mother's heart never mends.

Thanks to NetGalley for the e-copy.

by Tess Alfonsin


Based on memories of her daughter who died when she was just five years of age, this poignant, hear wrenching book allows the reader to experience what a roller coaster of a ride bereaved parents go through when they lose a child, how they have to be strong at times. Its a lovely biography of a beautiful child.

by Pam Thomas


I read this book in one sitting. I enjoyed getting to know about Sarah, the author's child. She told us up front that she died at age five from a respiratory illness. We learned more about her mother's death and her brother's death than what happened to Sarah. It cuts off shortly after her fifth birthday. It seemed like we had no warning the book was going to end and then it was over without finishing the story. This was disappointing. We never learned what happened. (Yes....I know she died...but how did it happen? Did she have any warning? What were her last days like? Did you get to tell her "Goodbye"? Did she die in her sleep?) It felt incomplete.

by Tamara Vernon


This is a beautifully and intelligently written book. It is a loving memorial and a joyful recount of the start of their family life. Ailsa's observations of her daughter 's short life are refreshing and good humoured and remarkably clear and unsentimental. Almost unbelievably they are not coloured by the obvious later tragedy. I found this a wonderful book and although I was sad at the loss the family had suffered I was glad too that they had known and loved their beautiful and charming daughter.

by Alexa Barber


It is a sweet story. The author has a lovely writing style and prose.

by Linda Warner


Counting Wild Strawberries Lynn Piper Read 15th May 2014 I was on holiday whilst I read this book; it was an easy read and I completed it in two long sittings. It is a love story, but not realistic – how can a man who cheats on his wife, tell his wife - and the wife and the lover become friends! The holidays they spend together are full of interesting details. I enjoyed the details of Spain and the walk in the Himalayas. Packed with interest. I did not like Ewan in any way and as for Kate – she was too good to be true. This is a light read and as such I award it 3 stars.

by Felicity Gibson


 

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