Shadow Child: An Apprenticeship in Love and Loss

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Carroll & Graf, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 307 pages
3 Reviews
In this perceptive, profoundly moving meditation on love and loss -- and the often poignant connection between the two -- Beth Powning shares the lessons that time and nature have taught her.

Like many young women with career ambitions in the redefining 1960s, Beth Powning struggles with the decision as to whether, and when, she should start a family, although eventually her ambivalence about motherhood yields to a dream of a baby. At the age of twenty-four she becomes pregnant, and her dream becomes reality. Then, late into a cold February night, eleven days past her due date, under induced labor, Beth delivers a stillborn son.

Several years later, to overwhelming joy, Beth gives birth to Jacob, but the growth of her second son is soon shadowed by that of Beth's other, first child, who has emerged from the darkness of memory. So it is that she begins to come to terms with the conditions of life that hone and humble each of us -- with birth and death, with joy and pain, with losses and love and the relentless passage of time -- in this beautifully wrought exploration of selfhood, womanhood, and motherhood.

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Shadow child: an apprenticeship in love and loss

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Powning (Home: Chronicle of a North Country Life) opens this intimate, richly detailed autobiography with descriptions of her idyllic childhood in rural Connecticut, where she discovered her artistic ... Read full review

Review: Shadow Child: An Apprenticeship in Love and Loss

User Review  - Mandy - Goodreads

As I finished this book, I found myself thinking, "I'll need to read this book again someday." There are many layers here, not just about the loss of a child, but about being a woman, being creative, and what it means to live in the wake of that loss. Read full review

References to this book

About the author (2000)

Beth Powning grew up in a small New England town, where her family has lived since the 1790s. In 1972, she and her husband Peter Powning moved to Canada and bought an 1870s farm in New Brunswick, where they established a pottery business.

In 1995, Beth Powning published a book of photography, "Roses for Canadian Gardens" (written by childhood friend Bob Osborne). She later found her voice in "Home: Chronicle of a North Country Life". Over the next fifteen yaers, five books followed: another book of photographs, "Northern Trees and Shrubs"; two works of non-fiction, "Shadow Child" and "Edge Seasons"; and two bestselling novels, "The Hatbox Letters" and "The Sea Captain's Wife".

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