Christy's Reviews > An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken
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Dec 22, 08


A thin, beautiful, sad - but defiant - book about the loss of a baby. It begins with the flat warning: "Someone dies in this book. A baby." McCracken married her British husband in her late thirties and was thrilled to be living together in Bordeaux and pregnant with their first child (nicknamed Pudding.) Amidst the knocking on wood, the name games, and the well-wishes of friends and strangers, something goes very wrong and Pudding dies before birth. The book is written with a son finally born one year and five days after Pudding's death. It is a love letter to Edward (McCracken's husband), a card to the general public to explain (the death of a child never truly disappears), and a story for McCracken's living son, Gus.

I have never lost a child; I have never thought of the traumatic removal of future hopes and dreams, the amputated feeling of loss that McCracken felt and still feels being the mother of a ghostly son, Pudding, and his very real successor. McCracken is funny, refuses to be over-sentimental, and consistently withholds artifice from the reader. A great, elegiac read.
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