In the tradition of The Year of Magical Thinking and The Glass
Castle comes Heidi Chandler’s memoir Holding Avery.
When Heidi and her husband decide it’s finally time for
kids, everything goes just as planned. Heidi, a teacher, needs
a summer baby, and her baby girl is set to arrive mid-July.
Heidi, an athletic young woman, suffers almost no morning
sickness, no disruption to her routine. Still a nervous
expectant mother, she is reassured that at each of her checkups,
her growing baby is not just healthy—she is perfect.
So when Heidi wakes up on the night of June 30th, blood
covering her sheets, she can’t believe that something less than
perfect has occurred. When the same doctors who told her
not to worry now inform Heidi that her daughter will be
stillborn, she is at a complete loss. Cradling her baby’s lifeless
body, Heidi realizes that she and her baby—her Avery—will
never have the lives she envisioned.
When Heidi finally seems recovered enough to leave the
hospital, she goes home to face a world which is full of traps
for a woman mourning her child; babies at the grocery store,
new students asking about her baby, other women who say all
of the wrong things, and worse—women who say all the right
things. Because nothing for the Chandlers feels right with
Avery gone. Heidi has to figure out how to navigate her home,
her family, and her friends, familiar territory that suddenly
feels strange. Holding Avery makes Heidi’s incredibly private
pain something universal, an assurance that in the face of
loss, the only thing to do is move forward.