Emma’s Laugh: The Gift of Second Chances

She Writes Pr. Jun. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9781647421120. pap. $16.95. MEMOIR
Kupershmit writes an account of the myriad ways her life changed when her first daughter, Emma, was born with a rare genetic mutation. The author details her own background as the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, as well as the circumstances leading up to Emma’s birth, and the many moments of clarity and re-framing of her own expectations about parenting and family life that came along with raising a child with a disability. Kupershmit is honest about her own disappointments and moments she interprets as personal weaknesses. Her writing shines when recounting Emma’s relationship with her siblings, and when discussing the difficult work of deciding who will care for Emma in the long-term and whether to place her siblings in a caregiving role. Kupershmit also delves into some jarring, perhaps questionable details, like her deciding to place the infant Emma for adoption, a decision she reversed after a few months.
VERDICT Overall, Kupershmit has managed to produce a noticeably well-written and eloquent narrative of motherhood, and a beautiful tribute to her daughter. Recommended for readers interested memoirs about the variety of human experiences within the United States.
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