Wordjazz for Stevie: How a Profoundly Handicapped Girl Gave Her Father the Gifts of Pain and Love by Jonathan Chamberlain

Book Description:
How could a girl born with a genetic defect – who later suffered brain damage leaving her blind, epileptic and physically handicapped, and who lived only eight years – change the world? Wordjazz for Stevie is a letter written to Stevie by her father after she had died to try to explain to her (and the world) the meaning of her life. This is a book that everyone should read. It could change your life too.

My Review: * * * * *
“Even now when you’re not here to be hugged I close my eyes and wrap my arms around a volume of space and pretend you’re in it and that I can feel your weight.”

This heartfelt memoir is a beautifully written tribute from the author, Jonathan Chamberlain, to his late eight-year-old daughter, Stevie. Stevie was born with Down Syndrome and when she was only six months old, suffered serious complications after heart surgery, which left her severely handicapped. Through all her difficulties (of which there were so many), Stevie’s short life was nonetheless filled with love and the joy she found through music. The author speaks openly of his pain and loss, not only for his daughter, but also for his wife Bern, who died of cancer shortly afterward, leaving him as single father to their four-year-old son, Patrick. Out of these tragedies, Jonathan searches for answers, trying to make sense of this world and the circumstances which seem cruel and senseless. He speaks with brutal honesty, yet tenderly as he takes us deep into his thoughts and emotions, struggles and questions, to a point where we are left with a deep message of gratitude for those we have loved and lost.

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