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Stories for a Romantic Heart: Over One Hundred Treasures to Touch Your Soul lY moved me but I reflected on a similar experience with my own mother My mom died alone She was found dead on her kitchen floor I have replayed her moments before her death a million times Buta specific memory came to me when we were almost happy togetherAND SO WAS OUR NARRATOR WITH HER MOTHER Atast even with me always present the work of caring for my mother at home became too much One morning struggling from her bed to the bathroom pushing a walking frame in front of her she stumbled and fell sitting down heavily on the carpet She was unhurt but no onger had the strength to stand back up and although for a while I tried to right her tugging her this way and that bringing various items of furniture to use as props or evers I was unable to The Inheritance: Part 1 lift her weight I had to call an ambulance because she wasn t a priority we sat for hours side by side on the bedroom floor waiting for it to arrive I made usunch sandwiches to eat on our knees the sort I have picnic she had made me sometimes as a child on rainy Saturdays and the fragile cast of this memory brought a kind of complicity between us a resurgence of the intimacy that we had once possessed so that for a while it was almost as though we were happy As for thoughts of becoming a mother Sometimes when I saw a woman in a caf pick up a baby from a pram I felt a weight in my own arms a heaviness where nothing was and the force of my The Curious World Of Christmas longing for a child was such that I had to turn away but still I could only feel how impossible it was that I should ever manage such complicatedove And just before giving birth I find that when I think of my mother now it is not have that version of herself which she became when ill nor of how was when throughout my childhood compromise forced her into unspectacular unhappiness but rather it is at this woman whom I never knew whose face bends down to meet her child s whose hands I close who smiles I feel such tenderness towards her She must have known so ittle then of what it is to have a child but had to earn it all from scratch and did as I have done and all the rest of us The Best Canadian Animal Stories learning from the moment we are born how to be one single version of ourselves with all theosses that entails I am so used to thinking of my mother is someone who is complete her ife concluded that to imagine her at this moment caught during those few weeks when everything was briefly and for both of us possibility is to feel her startlingly close her death unwound She is not shut and done with but persists and I am glad Really beautifultenderemotional heartfeltpoignant Like my GR friends Neil and Sarah I thought I would give this book 2 stars while reading it but then ended up rating it higher and I guess the reason for this is that the core idea of the text is good but the execution is severely acking Greengrass plays with the concepts of sight and insight and how the desire to see the world and to understand it are intertwined Her protagonist is a woman who is expecting her second child and a ot of the story is her contemplating and trying to understand her roles as a mother a partner a daughter and a granddaughter Which brings us to the the first issue I had with the book Her thoughts and observations are pretty unoriginal and also overblown in a sense that many cases of stating the obvious are presented as cutting edge ideas which makes for an annoying reading experience What is new and original about the text though is how Greengrass creates a montage in which she juxtaposes her protagonist s musings with other people s uest to gain new perspectives and insights while balancing family relations namely The Brothers Lumi re Auguste and Louis revolutionized the concept of seeing by inventing the cinematograph which means that they were the first filmmakers in history Wilhelm Conrad R ntgen and his wife Bertha R ntgen of course invented the X ray he iterally The Commemerative looked inside people Sigmund Freud and his daughter Anna The inventor of psychoanalysis wanted toook inside his patient s minds John Hunter and his brother William They were pioneers as surgeons and anatomists soyou get the ideaUnfortunately the montage techniue is very clumsy with Greengrass simply interspersing the text with huge paragraphs about the inventors and #scientists named above it s not exactly meeting the Clemens Meyer elegance standard for postmodern #named above it s not exactly meeting the Clemens Meyer elegance standard for postmodern if you know what I mean Plus the author is guilty of another iterary crime She is explaining her concept to us in the text We re not stupid Greengrass we get it especially as you are really really hammering it home Good basic idea but for me this was not #an enjoyable book Hmmm Lots of conflicting feelings about this one # enjoyable book Hmmm Lots of conflicting feelings about this one the I ve thought about this book the ess I ve iked it Video review here Sight is an ambitious and introspective novel in which our unnamed narrator recounts her experience with new motherhood while at the same time coming to terms with the death of her own mother and grandmother To say that I have conflicting feelings about this novel would be an understatement it s ike every singular element of this novel draws two completely contradictory reactions from me I both admire it and find it insufferable at the exact same timeLet s start with the prose which is what everyone is going to be talking about when they talk about Sight and rightfully so It feels ike Jessie Greengrass s sentences go on for days each one carefully crafted to show very evident t I believe this might be the first book that made me start comprehending what it means to be a parent Engrossing smart and beautify written novel There is some beautiful writing here particularly the meditations on grief The whole thing fails though because mostly what s here is pedantic dense prose academic than fictional It s not a novel IMHO it s an overly ong rather pretentious essay while I cannot recommend it some other great readers out there certainly doI have much much to say in my BookTube review This novel shortlisted for the Women s Prize for Fiction is a braided novel about motherhood and scientific discovery x rays psychoanalysis and surgery The writing style reminds me of Motherhood by Sheila Heti where the narrator feels The Summer House like the author and I had to keep reminding myself that it is fiction I had to push through it at times but ultimately was glad I did as it had some resonance with my own recent experiences especially those of having a parent die in hospice and what you think about during and after what the truth of that experience isI wanted a child fiercely but couldn t imagine myself pregnant or a mother seeing only how I was now or how I thought I was singular centreless afraid I was terrified of the irrevocability of birth and what came after it how the raising of a child that unduckable responsibility might turn each of my actions into weighted accidents moulding anotherife without intention into unpropitious shapes and caught between these two poles my desire my fearThis is where grief is found in these suddenly unfilled cracks these responsibilities minute habitual which have Before My Heart Stops: A Memoir lain elsewhere for years and which having failed amongst grief s greater broil to be reapportioned are overlooked in favour of the dramatic until even the ordinary starts to crumbleLove for my mother was not distinct from actionThrough thoseast The Yankee Club long months though the physical intimacy which her illness demanded of useft no space for any metaphorical form of contact the present was too onerous to allow any intrusion by the past and the work of being kind against the urge to hurt which comes as vulnerability s unwelcome companion eft "no energy for confession this is so spot on I was speechless when I read "energy for confession this is so spot on I was speechless when I read find myself wondering if my mother felt as I do the overwhelming fear of fucking up that having children brings the awareness of the impossibility of not causing hurt ike falling into endless water and with it the attendant agonising understanding that what success The Catholic Home: Celebrations and Traditions for Holidays, Feast Days, and Every Day looksike is being eft behind but what is the alternative Only the unthinkable perfection of a preserved present Our ives are possibility reduced to rough particularity by contact touch and out of it the specificity of each of us comes so that to ask if we might have been better otherwise is to wish ourselves undoneI felt the power of it and do still how simple things would be if only I could know myself or to others I received an eARC from Random House through Edelweiss This book came out 21 August 2018. S and the origins of modern surgery It is about being a parent and being a child Fiercely intelligent brilliantly written and suffused with something close to forgiveness it is a novel about how we see others and how we imagine ourselves. .
Hor s idiosyncrasies of punctuation with paragraphs and sentences ending with see the R ntgen example above emphasises the idea of boundary and transition I found the descriptions of the process of bereavement moving For example on realising she cannot bleed her mother s radiators reset her boiler or replace the salt in her dishwater This is where grief is found in these suddenly unfilled cracks these responsibilities minute habitual which have ain elsewhere for years and which having failed amongst grief s greater broil to be reapportioned are overlooked in favour of the dramatic until even the ordinary starts to crumbleI also oved and particularly identified albeit very imperfectly as the father some of the descriptions of pregnancy in the third partOn welcoming a second child while making the first still feel full oved A reminder to our daughter that completion is elastic and she was enough even as we planned her augmentationDifferences in her and Johannes view of pregnancy What I felt as a set of prohibitions and a physical incapacity a slow fast remaking of my own biology was for him hardly than anticipation ike waiting for Christmas to comeThen how she describes her feelings and experiences watching a foetal heart trace her meetings with consultants her pregnancy from the day the baby was found breech a series of waits on uncomfortable chairs clutching plastic cups from the water fountain in the corner of the waiting room undergoing an ECV the early stages of induction two days spent walking round and round the hospital car park in the hope abour might begin and their contrast with its violent ending and birth as a ten hour Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability lesson in topographyI also found the inadvertentinks with other Women s Prize books fascinating Freud considering his youngest daughter and eventual collaborator and continuer of his work his Anna Antigone inking to Home Fire On Johannes before the birth He would not feel the child s weight until he held it in his arms inking to the most harrowing aspects of The Trick to TimeOverall I found this an outstanding book The prospect of having children can be exciting but also terrifying Luckily it s something I ve never strongly desired so I m satisfied in the role of uncle godfather and sometimes babysitter to friends children However some reasons I d be frightened of having children beyond a total ignorance of how to care for them is a dread of making some irreparable mistake and also the inability of protecting them from experiencing pain at some point Jessie Greengrass describes this as the overwhelming fear of fucking up that having children brings the awareness of the impossibility of not causing hurt American Hunger: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Washington Post Series like falling into endless water Her debut novel Sight is a reflection on the process of having children and why her narrator is particularly self conscious about the continuation of herineage But than that it s a remarkably poignant meditation on the internal and external The Mother Zone levels of our mental and physical reality The narrator is a young woman who cared for her mother during her terminal illness and now faces the prospect of becoming a mother herself She sifts through her personal past and considers theives of disparate individuals such as Sigmund his daughter Anna Freud Wilhelm R ntgen the first man who produced and published scientific studies of X rays and scientistsurgeon John Hunter In doing so she embarks on a journey into how she might allow her child to see the multiple ayers of ife and thus pass on an abiding sense of happinessRead my full review of Sight by Jessie Greengrass on LonesomeReader Not my kind of book I can see why some readers The Poke Cookbook: The Freshest Way to Eat Fish love it but the self absorbed first person narrator un annamed twenty something woman being pregnant with her second child just bored me The best parts were the sections exploring theives of historical figures ike Sigmund Freud Wilhelm Conrad R ntgen Henry Thomson and John Hunter I knew I wanted to read Jessie Greengrass s debut novel from the moment I first read about it SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMAN S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018It took two weeks for my hardcopy to arrive in the mail after I ordered it I felt very drawn to this novel very reflective very iterary very much a woman s book I did plenty of my own reflection as well Sight is about being a parent and a childbirth and death The subject of mother s women children birth and death sits with me deeper this time of year May June than any other My own birthday is at the end of May My mother s was The First Week In first week in My older sister s the end of June our tripod female birthday s growing up without a man in our houseand my mother died in June May is also Mother s Day My two daughters call May mommy month The way I remember the busy years of parenting our daughters was May was so busy with their activities theatre performances swim meets etc I uietly felt oss in the shuffle I knew I had a birthday Mother s Day in May but some of those years were kids month in my eyes Yesterday the movie Tully #Opened With Charlie Theron #with Charlie Theron tore me up A movie about motherhood The performance by Theron was so real so raw I was aching with tears I admit to being extra sensitive these days too But every mother could relate to the exhaustionif nothing else May is suppose to be my happy month My daughters will be home visiting soonBeautiful grown adults here to enjoy our relationships no onger do I need to rush around from the theater to the swimming pool It really is mommy month now ButI m Sicilian Lives looking atife in ways these days I never did before and it s somewhat frightening STILL GRATEFULjust a Tattoo a Banana: And Other Ways to Turn Anything and Everything Into Art little scaredlife has been throwing aot of challenges all at once I knew it would take effort to go to the movie yesterday For a girl who Alice Oliver loves to hike as much as reading I m struggling with walking to my car from the front door of my house these days without pain I woke up from myast nose repair surgery two weeks ago with some nerve problem coming from my spin I m in physical therapy almost daily with a scheduled MRI this week but as I was struggling walking slow to the movie I notice every person in wheel chairs or people with walkers with fear and sadness I already have a bionic ankle which will need replacement again in about 7 10 years Walking is high on my The Protestant Temperament list of important Since I turned 65ast May it s been one thing after another the shit kept hitting the fan with medical physical thingsskin cancer oss 12 of a nose 4 surgeriesosteoporosis diagnosisnow struggling with walkingand for a ittle over 2 months nowI The Radiant Child live with painful ulcer sores in the inside of my mouth It s an autoimmune disease called Lichen Planus I m still trying to get it to go away No success yet none of the medications have worked Sowhy share all this Sometimes a book a movie or bothands in our hands when we need it most The uestion I m sitting with is what am I to take from this book From the movie yesterday I tie them both together for some reasonIt s MOTHER SFEMALE MONTHThis book is a powerful reminder HAPPY MOTHER S DAY to all my female friends here even if not a mother as all women are mothers A couple thoughtsthen I l focus directly on the novel SIGHT 1I wondered how I would have felt about this book if I read it when my mother was alive and before giving birth I think it would have been incredibly beneficial2I d ove my daughters to read this book not yetbut when they are in another cycle of their The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data lives they don t have children nor do they plan tobut I believe every woman goes through the mothering stage at one time or another in some form in theirives Now about SightIt s not a book for everyone But I do think almost any reader who appreciates iterary fiction at all would at east be incredibly impressed and moved by Jessie Greengrass s stunning writing Hard to believe this is a debut The narrator s recollections are of her mother her mother s death and of her grandmother who was a psychoanalyst Intertwined the narrator shares major medical discoveries the X Ray by Wilhelm RontgenSigmund Freud s workand science about the anatomy of pregnant bodies I found the science history of the book interesting but Tempting Eden less absorbing than when the narrator was personal grappling with grief and or worry directly connected with her ownife She and Johannes definitely wanted to have a baby but she was sincerely worriedwould she be a good mother Fear hit her hard while caring for her terminally ill mother The recollection shorty after her mother died not onl. T selfish too to have a child and stay the same or not to have one unless the only honest choice would have been to try to become this kinder version of myself without the need to bring another into it Sight is about X rays psychoanalysi.

summary Sight author Jessie Greengrass

Update Nine months on from my original review my not particularly hard to make prediction of a Wellcome prize onglisting for this brilliant book has come true I had no understanding of the drive to exhume that now turns my uiet moments into imperfect acts of reminiscence how it is to feel that one must note each detail of one s thoughts in case that thing should pass unseen which might otherwise provide the key Talking to Dragons laying out the shadows of the bones which rib and arch and hold the whole togetherIt strikes me as extraordinary now that we should be so hidden from ourselves our bodies and our minds so inaccessible in sucharge part uncharted but there is a thrill to it too that same mixture of terror and uickening which confronts us where underneath the sea the Three Times the Love light gives out and unnamed creatures float I read this book as part of itsonglisting for the 2018 Women s Prize although I had been aware of the book from some early reviews and had expected it to make the The Drowning Man longlist I am not surprised to see it shortlisted Sight is the author s debut novel after a critically acclaimed book of short stories I can see and can understand that this book may not be to the taste of many readers but I feel that what others do notike about the book is what I most enjoyedA FT review by Sam Leith described it rather condescendingly in my view as a certain sort of The Bride of Willow Creek literary novel in which not much happens and with musings expressed in a mannered register with veryittle resemblance to the way the average 21st century person talks In contrast I do not expect GREAT INVESTMENT, THE literary fiction to be plot heavy my fellow Goodreads reviewer Paul has often remarked of the spoiler tag on Goodreads that by definition a book which has a plot which can be spoiled is already flawed Further I do not readiterature to reproduce say ike how the average girl kind of talks From unfavourable or neutral Goodreads reviewers the book has drawn comparison both to Rachel Cusk and to WG Sebald whereas I regarded these comparisons as something that attracted me to the book and in both cases can see the inks perhaps a double aspect to the The Lively Art of Writing link in both cases of Cusk her book on motherhood and her annihilated perspective style of Sebald his weaving of historical fact into fiction and in a reference to East Anglian beaches albeit the novel has style of its own The book s premise is simple our unnamed narrator married to Johannes and with a young daughter is pregnant with their second child She reflects on her relationships with her mother grandmother and daughters born and unborn and on her past and future roles herself as daughter granddaughter and mother and on the transition between these relationships as well as that from child to adolescence to adulthoodThe narrator is a voracious reader and after the death of her mother before marrying she spends time in the Wellcomeibrary as did the author herself writing the book searching through the medicine books there in the hope she might find the fact which would make sense of my grown unhappiness allowing me to peel back the obscurant ayers of myself and ay bare at ast the solid structure underneath her uest described as I sought among so many books a way to understand myself by analogy a pattern recognised in other ives which might be drawn across my own to give it shape and given shape to give it impetus directionAs an aside the Wellcome Trust sponsors one of the most intriguing book prizes in the UK and this book must surely be a contender for the 2019 PrizeThis search seems to give her book a shape and pattern the book being effectively rearranged in three parts each concentrating on a particular relationship respectively her mother her psychoanalyst grandmother and her unborn daughter and on a scientific figure Wilhelm R ntgen who discovered x rays Sigmund Freud and his children John Hunter a pioneering surgeon and collector who helped introduce science back to the practice of medicine his brother William and the anatomical sketches they commissioned from Jan van Rymsdyk including of the dissection of a heavily pregnant woman with a full term fetus Initially these sections can seem disjointed both within themselves between the narrators reflections on her ife and the scientific parts and between the different sections but gradually the reader uncovers the overlaps between these parts the recurring themes of stripping apart examination of transitions of boundaries of the difference and interaction between the superficial and deepAt this point and to give a flavour for the book and simply because I noted "down so much of the book the book being ittered with "so much of the book the book being ittered with it notes when I finished a number of examples are usefulOn something which the narrator obsesses about that R ntgen handed in his first paper on X rays on the same day the Lumi re brothers first publically showed their collection of cinematography Rontgen had seen all that had been solid go towards transparency Opaue materials wood stone his own flesh had been reduced for him to shadowed outline eaving the image of a substrate world spread out across a photographic plate a catalogue of metal and bone and all that would not rot to set against cinema s preservation of surface The initial excitement of the public at x rays and a ink forward to Freud s work hope that knowing the constitution of their bodies they might be granted understanding of their mindsFreud and the Vienna Psychoanalytic society this earnest group of men saw #Themselves As Architects Of A #as architects of a in which clarity was assured and all the convoluted crenellations of the mind would be unfoldedHer grandmother taking about analysis told her Without reflection without the capacity to trace our ives backwards and pick the patterns out we become The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness liable to act as animals do minus foresight and according to a set of governingaws which we have never taken the trouble to explore Without reflection we do The Leadership Gap little than drift upon the surface of things and self determination is an illusion Andater When a person has gained the skills necessary to explore the territory for themselves to unpack their own minds and begin to understand the contents they might start the work necessary to make their experience their behaviour meaningful and then at Zero to Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based on Science (and What I've Learned So Far) last they might start to become transparent to themselvesComparing her pregnant self to Susini s Anatomical Venus a clearink to the sketches of van Rymsdyk I imagine how I would Serenity Role Playing Game lookaid out Save the Cupcake! like this formed intoayers each one a shell demountable and at the centre of it the indivisible nut my child makes and how then all of it might be removed stacked carefully up beside my open undecaying carcassOn her daughter growing up Now she stands apart and I must reach for her on each occasion a Tressed to Kill (Southern Beauty Shop, little further until it seems her progress towards adulthood is a kind of disappearance and that I know heress and Tressed to Kill less the she becomes herselfHer mother s illness shortly after twenty one her need for me forcing into reverse that inevitable process of separation which was the work of adolescenceSorting through her mother s possessions To pick through dusty boxes to sift through memories which fray and tearike ageing paper in an effort to find out who we are is to avoid the responsibility of choice since when it comes to it we only have ourselves now and the ever narrowing cone of what we might enactWhen tending to her child I see the outline of my mother s hands beneath the skin of mine and I hear her voice in mine performing the iturgy of endearments those sibilant invitations to returning sleep and I wonder if these things are soothing in themselves or if it is rather that through generational repetition they have become that way a memory taught and retaught the epigenetics of comfort I feel memory as enactment and my mother my grandmother in nay hands and my arms a half presence no onger The Dancer Who Flew: A Memoir of Rudolf Nureyev lostWhat I found particularly clever about this book was the way that its own subject matter becomes a meta commentary on how the book itself is constructed for example the importance of the boundaries between the scientific historical sections and those sections with the narrators own musings the way thatayers are peeled back examined and ater reassembled with the superficial in iterary and anatomical terms contrasted with the deep the importance of the bare bones of the novel s structure overlaid with the interwoven complexity of the themes that run ike blood vessels and nerves through it Even the aut. The extraordinary first novel from the author of the prizewinning An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk According to One Who Saw ItIt seemed at times an act of profound selfishness to have a child so that I might become a parent; bu. Sight author Jessie Greengrass