Eva Leger's Reviews > Hannah's Gift: Lessons from a Life Fully Lived

Hannah's Gift by Maria Housden
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's review
Dec 17, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: b-non-fiction, autos-bios-memoirs
Recommended to Eva by: found it on bookmooch
Recommended for: parents who have lost a child, strong memoir readers
Read in February, 2009 , read count: once

I have never in my life cried while reading a book. I've gotten choked up and maybe even shed a tear, but never, never have I actually had tears streaming down my face.
If I had one tenth of the strength Maria Housden had I'd be above average in the strength department. How Mrs. Housden manages to go on after losing Hannah and then to help others is beyond me. I honestly don't think I could do it. I'd lay down and die.
On page 3 I started crying. I was on and off crying until about three quarters of the way through when it wasn't turning off anymore. Mrs. Housden gave the entire world a gift by writing this book. She writes in an almost elegant way, she manages to bring the joy she felt with and about Hannah through to the readers even while she let the world in on what it was like when Hannah was dying.
The book encompasses Hannah's life from age three- her last year alive to a few years after her death. She was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and given less than a year to live. At three years old. Mrs. Housden speaks about her husband and her other children a little bit to let the reader get an idea of the rest of the family's perspective. The individual stories are absolutely heartbreaking. Her older brother Will telling his mom that he'll never say no to Hannah when she asks to sleep in his room again broke my heart. The story of when Hannah found the red shoes in Stride Rite brought a different kind of tear to my eyes.
Seeing how Hannah embraced life with so much celebration, Mrs. Housden was able to let go of some issued while learning other, very important, lessons that most of us will never, ever learn.
I'm so, so happy I not only found this book, but was able to read it. I waited a long time for my daughter, who happens to be the same age as Hannah when she was diagnosed, and even though I already knew enough to cherish every moment with her, this book brought it home even more. Learning about the relationship between Hannah and her mom makes it hurt even more to think so many children never get the chance to know that unconditional love and pure joy. Every mother, even the ones like myself who had to wait for their child and who know the fear of never getting to hold a baby of their own, could learn a lot from this book and this super-woman/mom.
It's a hard, hard, hard book to read.....but worth it every step of the way.

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Reading Progress

02/16/2009 page 1
0.42% "I have to start this after reading a few reviews on it..."
02/16/2009 page 55
22.92% "well, I first got choked up on pg. 1...started crying on pg. 3...not sure what's going to come next..."
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