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Holding Avery

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  51 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
When her otherwise healthy, even idyllic, first pregnancy ends in the sudden and terrible stillbirth of daughter Avery, Heidi Chandler and her husband are left at a total loss. Looking into Avery’s perfect face, one that never cooed or cried, Heidi realizes how much her life has changed. Holding Avery is a raw exploration of life after the death of a child. Heidi Chandler ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by MP Publishing (first published May 1st 2012)
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Roberta Hartery
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Not many books can bring me to tears, but I cried and being someone who is not overly emotional it takes a lot. Heidi shared one of the most horrible part of her life. I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason but it still does not make things easy nor does it always make sense. but having the mind set of this shall to pass is critical.
this book was phenomenal and I would recommend it to anyone. its a must read.
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not many books can bring me to tears, but I cried the entire 2-3 hours it took me to read this. Heidi brings the reader into the most hurtful part of her life. She really brings to life the saying "this too shall pass". Rest in Peace little Avery Chandler. You have touched my heart...
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When this book came in from the author, asking for a review, I tossed it aside, in all honesty. I just wasn't sure I could read it, it seemed like such a sad story and having two children of my own, I wasn't sure I couldn't read it. I mean, this woman lost her baby at nearly full term. It's every pregnant woman's nightmare. I added it to my review pile, but figured I wouldn't ever really read it.

That was about a month ago and for some reason, I kept being drawn to this simple email and story. Li
Patricia Walker
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This is a beautifully written memoir of an event that is tragic for any person to experience but is here handled with brutal honesty and an openess that is rare when such an appalling thing happens as a stillbirth. Although the subject of the book is such a hard one to stomach it is a wonderful easy read and will have you reaching for the tissues and agreeing with the concepts raised from such a personal sharing and I honestly take my hat off to the bravery of the author in committing her person ...more
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As a mother who recently delivered a stillborn daughter, I could relate so deeply to the authors feelings and awkward encounters with the "outside world." Thank you for putting into words what we feel and for giving this book a happy ending!
Carol Anderson
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Whether you have lost a child or not, this book is a great look into the hell that is life after the death of a child. Ms. Chandler is very honest in her relating of her feelings of loss and in finding life again.
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
heartbreaking to read as a mother. Easy read.
Stasy H
Our situations were very different (early second trimester loss for me versus full term for her), but everything Chandler wrote resonated with me. I wish I had found this book much earlier (before becoming pregnant with my first take-home baby, in fact), but it still rings so true and I would recommend it to anyone who has lost a baby or knows someone who has because, in all honesty, it's hard as hell to talk about and many women never do, but this book will give you a glimpse into our hell.
Amanda Liston
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read the full review at!

Being a mother is an experience unlike any other. I know non-parents out there may roll their eyes as they imagine their annoying co-workers who don’t shut up over the stories and pictures of their kids but it’s true: you learn more about the depths of love from being a parent more than any other relationship.

This is why I knew I needed to read Ms. Chandler’s book, I felt I’d be able to understand her pain more than a non-parent. I’ve never been
Nina Norstrom
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s her first story –and very expressively told! Makes for easy reading, so good I didn’t want to put it down and read it in one sitting.
As the author puts it: She’s truly been on a journey to hell and back! There is nothing more devastating than experiencing a loss of a child – I can only “ditto” that statement. But then again, it’s the worse feeling imaginable when the loss occurs inside you – the womb. And still you (the parent) must remain sane to embrace the life of being a wife, sister an
Jo Barton
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is not usually something I would normally choose to pick up and read as I find memoirs about lost children such an emotional subject, but having had two easy and healthy pregnancies, I am am of course, always sympathetic to the plight of those women who sadly, do not find it easy to accomplish their heart's desire. I can also look back to my midwifery career and see again those women who were devastated by the stillbirth of a much longed for child. To see mothers broken by loss and uncontro ...more
Jenn S.
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
I'm not typically a fan of memoirs as they tend to come across either preachy or like the writer needs to get a grip and grow up. This is far from how Chandler presents her story. The writing is honest, truthful and touching. How anyone can move past such a loss is something I hope to never understand but this is as close as it gets. I would highly recommend this to anyone who has lost a child. Reading the emotion and understanding that you are not alone in this situation is therapeutic and help ...more
Marie (UK)
Jul 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
an emotional story really well told
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This brutally honest memoir discusses the heartbreak of stillbirth.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone working in the field of maternity care.
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book!
Best Indie Book Award
Winner of the Best Indie Book Award!
Ruthann Volcheff
I would not recommend this book to people unless they were dealing with the topic. It was well written.
Jul 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
I could have done without a lot of the language used in this book. Heartbreaking book!
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very raw, honest account of a mother's loss - resonant and brave.
Kate Bernard tringal
Amazing book. So incredibly sad but open and honest and wonderfully written!
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Heidi Chandler grew up in Northern Michigan. She graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in journalism and education, spent a few years working in advertising, and eventually settled into a career as a high school journalism teacher. After the death of her daughter in 2008, she left teaching and started writing, which led to the memoir "Holding Avery." Heidi lives in Texas with her h ...more
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