Motherhood: Lost and Found
by Ann Campanella



The Bridge, 2013. ISBN 978-0-615-91537-1.
Reviewed by Denise McAllister
Posted on 03/16/2017

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Life Lessons; Nonfiction: Elders

This is a poignant, beautiful memoir about the seemingly insurmountable challenges that life throws at some of us. For the author, we wonder how she can go on, how she can rise to the testing of her patience and fortitude. Can she continue to put one foot in front of the other, day after day? Can she continue caretaking everyone around her, many times putting her own life on hold?

Wanting desperately to have a child, the author suffers miscarriage after miscarriage and questions if her body is meant to bear life. On the other end of life's spectrum is her mother's elder years with the complication and heartbreak of Alzheimer's disease.

Campanella is a good daughter, a dutiful daughter, tirelessly (although truly exhausted) caring for her parents in the midst of chaos—paperwork hoarding when her father (the man who has always been in charge) can no longer keep up with it, a refrigerator full of spoiled food for the same reason, and her mother's incontinence and memory loss.

Alzheimer's disease is like a thief of life's sweet memories. Campanella writes about her mother: "I miss her, my funny, sweet mom, the ways she was there for me...I miss our walks around the neighborhood, the way we'd laugh about something silly until our stomachs hurt...I'm sorry I didn't talk to her more when she was able. I didn't realize the time would be so short." (181) Many of us have experienced this robber disease.

While the author and her siblings share the responsibility of her parents, she also cares for horses at her small boarding barn as she tries to hang onto her dream of spending time with them and sometimes competing. They are like the children she doesn't have.

All of this, including the tried and failed pregnancies, is often handled alone as her husband (although supportive) pursues his career and travels the world. They love each other and try to stay connected. Her husband invites her on trips: "We could get away, see some really cool places and have some fun."

Campanella even joins him on a couple of trips across the Pond, but all the while is worrying about her parents, her horses, and her desire to be pregnant. She writes, "It sounds good and easy when Joel says it, and I appreciate that he wants us to be together. I want that, too. But lately fun has become a foreign concept."

Painstakingly written over two decades, Campanella's memoir evolved from journal entries and revised drafts critiqued and encouraged by her writing group. No wonder so many years went by. How could she find the time to write while in the midst of the maelstrom of life swirling around her?

This book is a gift that Campanella lovingly and transparently composed. It's a tribute to love, family, life, and faithfulness. We all go through challenges. Sharing them sometimes lightens the load and in so doing helps others who may be on the same journey.


Ann Campanella was formerly a magazine and newspaper editor, but her real love is writing creative nonfiction and poetry. Her collections of poetry include the award-winning What Flies Away, and she received the Poet Laureate Award twice from the North Carolina Poetry Society. Her work has been published in local and national journals and anthologies, including the bestselling A Cup of Comfort series. She has a degree in English Literature from Davidson College, and lives on a small horse farm in North Carolina with her family and animals. Visit her website.

Authors/Publicists: For promotion purposes, you may quote excerpts of up to 200 words from our reviews, with a link to the page on which the review is posted. ©Copyright to the review is held by the writer (review posting date appears on the review page). If you wish to reprint the full review, you may do so ONLY with her written permission, and with a link to http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org. Contact our Book Review Editor (bookreviews at storycirclebookreviews.org) with your request and she will forward it to the appropriate person.

StoryCircleBookReviews.org has received a copy of this book for review from the author, publisher, or publicist. We have received no other compensation.

       
   
Stories From the Heart IX

StoryCircleBookReviews provides a review venue for women self-published authors and for women's books published by independent and university presses.


Email me with news about your book reviews



Sarton Women's Book Award


Your ad could be here.
Advertise with us!


   

Visit us on Facebook and Twitter and goodreads.





Buy books online through amazon.com by simply clicking on the book cover or title. Your purchase will support our work of encouraging all women to tell their stories.
This title is currently available ONLY as an e-book
#visitors: