Unflinching and inspirational, a parent’s powerful tale of finding love and understanding beyond the senses.

TWO SMALL FOOTPRINTS IN THE WET SAND

A MOTHER'S MEMOIR

A mother depicts her family’s epic battle against nearly insurmountable genetic odds.

First published to wide acclaim in France, Hunter translates the intrepid tale of Julliand, a Parisian journalist and mother, whose own DNA cruelly forced upon her this memoir’s gripping subject. Already parents to a healthy 4-year-old son, Gaspard, in 2006, Julliand and her husband, Loïc, wondered why the big toes of their toddler, Thaïs, were turning outward, giving her a slightly awkward gait. Suspecting an orthopedic cause, nothing could have prepared the couple for the devastating diagnosis: metachromatic leukodystrophy, an incurable degenerative neural disorder that would, in short order, rob Thaïs of every faculty before truncating her young life. The Julliands learned the diagnosis on Thaïs’ second birthday and faced the grim prospect that she was not expected to reach the age of 3. As if this weren’t terrifying enough, at the time of the diagnosis, the author was five months pregnant and presented with the prospect that their unborn child had a 25 percent chance of having MLD as well. Six days after Azylis was born, while Thaïs was becoming bedridden and about to go mute, the Julliands learned that Azylis, too, had MLD. While lamenting that “genetics don’t let the laws of mathematics get in the way” but “take their toll as they see fit,” the Julliands drew even more deeply from their reserves of courage and agreed to a stem cell transplant, the one chance Azylis had to avoid the full brunt of Thaïs’ harsh fate. Though the author’s account charts suffering of mythic proportions, the lessons gleaned from her daughters prove incredibly wise.

Unflinching and inspirational, a parent’s powerful tale of finding love and understanding beyond the senses.

Pub Date: May 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1611458244

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Arcade

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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