Crystal, from WOW!, sent me the information on today’s featured book and after reading the synopsis, I wanted to share it with you because I thought it would be something we would all enjoy reading. And who better to tell of us about the book, but the author herself. So I ask that you help me in giving a warm welcome to Ms. Judy Mandel !!
Judy Mandel was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, but her family moved to the more suburban Cranford when she was three. The town she lives in now in Connecticut is nearly a duplicate of her childhood hometown.
In college, she tried several different majors over the course of finding her way. Finally, she settled on English and Journalism. She worked her way through those last college years singing and playing guitar in coffee shops and clubs. Judy’s writing life began as a reporter. She later worked in public relations and advertising and somehow found herself in corporate communications at various insurance companies, where she earned a living for 20 years. Judy now balances her business writing for clients with writing fiction, nonfiction and articles.
Connect with Ms. Mandel at these sites:
The Evolution of Replacement Child
When my parents died, within seven months of one another, I knew it was time to write the book they had always told me I should write. I found myself digging out an old file folder of news clips, notes and letters they had left me about the plane crash that killed their older daughter, Donna, and gravely injured their two year old, Linda. My mother had saved the news stories from the accident and wrote me longhand notes on many sheets of yellow legal paper. My dad added his letters explaining what had happened that day from his perspective. Linda, my sister who was badly burned in the resulting fire, wrote to me about her experiences in and out of hospitals, and gave me a window into her inner turmoil.
The accident happened two years before I was born, so the story of the plane crash took on a mythic quality for me as I was growing up. It was the aftermath of a tragedy, in this case, my own family’s tragedy, that intrigued me enough to keep me writing for the four years it took to wade through it.
I know that the writing was also part of my grieving process, to keep my family with me. And, I clearly heard their voices while I wrote the book. Not in an eerie way; it was comforting to have them around a while longer. Somehow I felt they would help me fulfill the responsibility to tell the truth of their journey. The hard part for me was finding my own place in the story—which didn’t start to happen until about two years into the project.
When I started writing, I thought this was a book about my parents. How they managed to pick up the pieces of their lives after losing their daughter. How they rallied for my sister Linda, giving her the courage to go through countless surgeries as a child, and to face the world with significant scars from her burns; then, how they had the hope to bring another child into the world—me.
Then, I thought it was my sister Linda’s story. I didn’t really see her scars. She was just my sister. I wasn’t aware she was different until I saw others react to her, and, I wanted to protect her from further hurt. Her bravery was an inspiration to me, and to everyone who knew her. Not only for her ability to endure a great deal of physical pain from many operations, but to confront a not always accepting world with humor and a smile. I hoped her story would be an inspiration to others who read about it.
But, ultimately it turned out to my own story. When I discovered there was a psychological term for a child born after the death of a sibling—“replacement child”—it changed the focus of my book and my personal journey. As I learned more, I identified with the term and the characteristics associated with the replacement child. It explained so much to me about my life’s trajectory.
The writing of such a personal memoir is a journey with twists and turns no one can predict. My path led to healing, understanding and forgiveness.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Replacement Child tells the true story of a horrifying accident: A plane crashes into a family’s home, leaving one daughter severely burned and another dead. The death of the child leaves a hole in the family that threatens to tear it apart. In an attempt to fill the painful gap, the parents give birth to a “replacement child.” But what is life like for a child that was born only be replacement and how does that unique position in the family affect them into their adulthood?
In this powerful story of love and lies, family and hope, Judy L. Mandel tells the story of being the child brought into the world to provide “a salve for the burns.” As a child, she unwittingly rides the deep and hidden currents of her family’s grief—until her discovery of this family secret, years later, changes her life forever, forcing her to confront the complex layers of her relationships with her father, mother, and sister.
This powerful memoir switches between the history of the family before the accident, the day of the accident and Judy’s memories of her own life in a fascinating way of connecting the “before” and “after” families.
Title: Replacement Child
Author: Judy Mandel
Publisher: Seal Press
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Paperback: 320 pages
THANKS TO CRYSTAL AT WOW!,
I HAVE ONE (1) COPY TO GIVE AWAY.
PRINT–OPEN TO U.S. AND CANADA RESIDENTS
OR EBOOK–OPEN TO ALL
FILL OUT RAFFLECOPTER ENTRY FORM BELOW
GIVEAWAY ENDSAPRIL 24th AT 6PM EST
VIA EMAIL AND WILL HAVE 48 HOURS TO RESPOND
OR ANOTHER NAME WILL BE CHOSEN
YOUR JAVA SCRIPT MAY NEED TO BE UPDATED
IF YOU AR EXPERIENCING DIFFICULTY
USING THE RAFFLECOPTER ENTRY FORM