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Fragile Innocence: A Father's Memoir of His…

Fragile Innocence: A Father's Memoir of His Daughter's Courageous Journey

by James Reston Jr.

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While I have to agree with some other reviewers who found Reston's account of his daughter's struggle against some pretty awful circumstances to be curiously bloodless at times, it is nevertheless a powerful story, well-told, of a family's fight for their beloved little girl. Reston's struggle against a sometimes incompetent medical world was particularly vivid to me, particularly in how, at every turn, his family was faced with unwavering "expert" diagnostic conclusions, many of which were ultimately wrong and occasionally to the extreme detriment of his daughter. This is quite simply a very important book, and one that I'm glad I finally got around to reading.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I read this book specifically because I was curious as to how Reston's narrative would compare to my own in my book, published about two years later. As a result, I suspect that came into this book predisposed to like it.) ( )
  rumhud | May 8, 2008 |
This book is popping up everywhere. Terry Gross interviewed Reston a few weeks ago, and Entertainment Weekly ran a long review. Reston writes about his daughter, who has an unknown disease that has left her without the ability to speak or function above a 9-month-old level. It's intriguing. It's also very flawed, in my opinion. Reston carefully documents the name of every doctor and teacher, but never mentions any at home help (yet makes it clear that he and his wife work full time, and believe it's impossible to leave the child alone). He also makes huge statements and completely fails to back them up in any way. His nervous breakdown gets 2 paragraphs, leaving one to wonder if it was just a figure of speech, or an actual episode? I felt that times that the book was a padded version of his daughter's medical record. ( )
  aliciamalia | Oct 8, 2007 |
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A personal narrative of a father's attempt to understand and accept the disease that left his young daughter unable to speak or understand language, and his quest to find answers.

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