Lanier’s writing is clean and beautiful ... In this story of her rare girl, Lanier shines a clear light on what we sign up for when we allow a human soul to come through us and into the world, in whatever 'interesting and beautiful package' that soul might find ... Lanier teases out the glory, charm and humor of these moments, letting us adore her child with her ... Refreshingly, Lanier’s husband, Justin, an Episcopal priest, is given room to demonstrate the ways in which practicing a religion prepares one usefully for a crisis. His training in Christian contemplative prayer and Zen meditation gives him strength that Lanier both leans on and is grateful for. As mother and writer, she draws on a liberal, questioning but questing faith, and brings to both vocations the humane message of Christ on his cross and Siddhartha’s 49 days beneath the Bodhi tree: You, my beloved child, are worth this much … and more.
... intensely reflective and honest ... As readers follow Fiona’s precarious first years, Lanier candidly explores her evolving emotions: guilt, despair, grief, acknowledgment of ingrained parental competitiveness, and questioning of what constitutes normal ... Readers share moments of anguish, terror, laughter, and triumph, as feisty Fiona grows and conquers milestones in her own unique ways. The book ends as Fiona enters Kindergarten, confident, quirky, and rare, indeed.
... moving and insightful ... Lanier struggles with the attitudes of physicians and others who regard her daughter as 'damaged' and beautifully details her own acceptance as well as the development of her special needs child (in time, Fiona walks, speaks with the help of a communication device, and attends public school). This intimate, powerful memoir will resonate with parents, whether of 'superbabies' or not.
Lanier writes with powerful humanity as she charts her course ... The author is especially sharp on her journey to remake herself, to pivot away from 'the desperate, clinging, distraught version who wanted what her child was not.' Along the way, she forcefully condemns the concept of a hierarchy of lives worth living. Her abiding love for Fiona is clear throughout, and it’s heartening to watch her learn to reject the idea that disability is deficit ... A book of pluck, spirit, and great emotion with an appealing perspective on the value of each human life.