The Unfinished Child

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Brindle and Glass, 2013 - Fiction - 304 pages
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When Marie MacPherson, a mother of two, finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at thirty-nine, she feels guilty. Her best friend, Elizabeth, has never been able to conceive, despite years of fertility treatments. Marie's dilemma is further complicated when she becomes convinced something is wrong with her baby. She then enters the world of genetic testing and is entirely unprepared for the decision that lies ahead.

Intertwined throughout the novel is the story of Margaret, who gave birth to a daughter with Down syndrome in 1947, when such infants were defined as "unfinished" children. As the novel shifts back and forth through the decades, the lives of the three women converge, and the story speeds to an unexpected conclusion.

With skill and poise, debut novelist Theresa Shea dramatically explores society's changing views of Down syndrome over the past sixty years. The story offers an unflinching and compassionate history of the treatment of people with Down syndrome and their struggle for basic human rights. Ultimately, The Unfinished Child is an unforgettable and inspiring tale about the mysterious and complex bonds of family, friendship, and motherhood.


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Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings
Part current story, part a little historical and a completely fantastic book! Dealing with the social issue of how developmentally disabled children
were treated in the past and thankfully the societal changes that have been made - I loved this book!
Three women tell their parts of the story and eventually it all intersects! The historical character is a woman who gives birth to her first child who ends up having Down Syndrome and at that time most children were signed over to a treatment center and raised there. Two other women are life long friends, one has two children and a whoopsie on the way while the other has battled with infertility and has decided to try to live with life as it is.

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About the author (2013)

Theresa Shea has published poetry, fiction, essays, reviews, and articles in a number of Canadian magazines and journals. Born in Maryland and raised throughout the United States, she moved to Canada in 1977 and currently lives with her husband and three children in Edmonton, Alberta. Follow Theresa on Twitter at @sheatheresa .

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