The Still Point of the Turning World
By Emily Rapp
Penguin Press, Hardcover, 9781594205125, 260pp.
Publication Date: March 7, 2013
List Price: $25.95*
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But all of these plans changed when Ronan was diagnosed at nine months old with Tay-Sachs disease, a rare and always-fatal degenerative disorder. Ronan was not expected to live beyond the age of three; he would be permanently stalled at a developmental level of six months. Rapp and her husband were forced to re-evaluate everything they thought they knew about parenting. They would have to learn to live with their child in the moment; to find happiness in the midst of sorrow; to parent without a future.
"The Still Point of the Turning World" is the story of a mother's journey through grief and beyond it. Rapp's response to her son's diagnosis was a belief that she needed to make my world big to make sense of her family's situation through art, literature, philosophy, theology and myth. Drawing on a broad range of thinkers and writers, from C.S. Lewis to Sylvia Plath, Hegel to Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," Rapp learns what wisdom there is to be gained from parenting a terminally ill child. In luminous, exquisitely moving prose she re-examines our most fundamental assumptions about what it means to be a good parent, to be a success, and to live a meaningful life.