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false_hope_by_astridle

Excerpts from reviews of my unpublished book

… She goes through the mill, all right. No surprise there for fans of such stuff—in Britain they call them “Misery Memoirs,” and demolished mums go mad for them. What is this trend about, anyway—all these haunted women sharing stories with women similarly haunted? When you’re dry to the bone, why crawl out to visit a neighboring desert?

… There seems some universal need for—let’s call it “paying witness.” Which Coughlin does well. She tells the story of her autistic daughter’s life and death with style and wit. It’s really not her fault that we already know the story, thank you, and don’t need to hear it again.

… To quote Ms. Coughlin, “You can’t spell ‘poignancy’ without ‘Nancy’”—and that at least seems true. This book is relentlessly poignant. Every thought this writer has seems blackened at the edges, charred by pain. Even when she’s funny—and believe it or not, she can be quite funny, often at the very moment the ground is collapsing beneath her—a subtle wince behind the prose betrays an unquellable trauma.

… This is the sort of book that should be wrapped in satin, placed in a box, tied with a bow, and cached in an attic for some curious granddaughter to reopen one day, and to recognize.

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