Their desperate attempts to find a cure for a notoriously incurable condition, and the many interventions Chika endures, can be difficult to read at times. Despite knowing how it ends, a reader can’t help but hope the story turns out differently ... Ultimately, Finding Chika is a touching rumination on the magic of children, the extraordinary lengths parents will go for them and the unlikely family that came together across continents.
Albom’s memoir is a lens into his grief but also a celebration of Chika’s spirit and lessons gleaned from their time together as a family. The heartbreaking but uplifting story is a testament to the bravery and resilience of children and the power of love. Essential.
Told through flashbacks and episodes of magical realism where Chika makes herself known to the grieving author, Chika’s story of hope, faith, and unconditional love is simultaneously uplifting and tragic. Keep the tissues handy, for Albom bares his soul in this lustrous tribute to a short but impactful life.
... a sentimental story of a life transformed ... Albom’s memoir is an antidote to narratives of toxic masculinity: Here is a man admitting that he is changed by loving a child. Albom’s open sentimentality about late-in-life parenthood will turn some readers off; he favors cliches and simple truths expressed simply ... Yet Albom, who has garnered wild success as this kind of sentimental writer, uses language in Finding Chika to echo the simplicity of religious aphorisms: It’s easy to remember and attempts to capture the ineffable and universal ache of grief. There’s beauty in Chika’s joy and the heartwarming conversations Albom recounts. He honors Chika’s life by telling her story and describing her resilience, silliness and yearning for the ordinary happiness of childhood ... If there’s one aspect of the story that’s troubling, it’s Albom’s use of a conceit throughout whereby he engages in conversations with Chika after her death. It is difficult to suspend disbelief to imagine these scenes as Albom recounts them. Is he hallucinating? Imagining? He insists on their truth, their specificity, their genesis beyond his own power.
... powerful ... Albom conveys the heartbreak of watching her suffer, while capturing Chika’s sweet spirit and youthful resilience. He speaks candidly about being too career-focused and putting off having kids until it was too late, and shares how Chika allowed him and his wife to experience the glory of parenthood decades into their marriage ... Both painfully sad and beautiful, this is an absolute tearjerker.
[Albom's] writing about this journey is unadorned, heartwarming, and rarely maudlin ... The takeaway from this simple, moving memoir is that love has no boundaries and should not be hindered by ethnicity, religion, education, or money ... A highly expressive, tender story about how 'families are like pieces of art, they can be made from many materials.'