Falling: Book summary and reviews of Falling by Elisha Cooper

Falling

A Daughter, a Father, and a Journey Back

by Elisha Cooper

Falling by Elisha Cooper X
Falling by Elisha Cooper
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2016
    160 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

The award-winning children's book author confronts a new world when faced with his daughter's illness in this frank, moving, and beautiful memoir.

Elisha Cooper spends his mornings writing and illustrating children's books, his afternoons playing with his two daughters. The phrase he hates most is "throw like a girl," so he teaches them to climb trees and play ball. But when he discovers a lump in five-year-old Zoë's midsection as she sits on his lap at a Chicago Cubs game, everything changes. Surgery, sleepless nights, treatments, a drumbeat of worry. Even as the family moves to New York and Zoë starts kindergarten, they must navigate a new normal: school and soccer games and hot chocolates in cafés regularly interrupted by anxious visits to the hospital. And Elisha is forced to balance his desire to be a protective parent- even as he encourages his girls to take risks - against the increasing helplessness he feels for his child's well-being, and his own. With the observant eye of an artist and remarkable humor, Elisha writes about what it took for him and his wife to preserve a sense of normalcy and joy in their daughters' lives; how the family emerged from this experience profoundly changed, but healed and whole; how we are all transformed by the fear and hope we feel for those we love.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A profoundly moving memoir." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. Zoë is on the mend, and post-treatment scans show no recurrence, yet Cooper still struggles to reconcile the fierce love he feels for his daughter, his need to protect her, and the powerlessness he feels in the face of cancer. This tale of fatherly devotion is also a story of discovering what it means to survive in the face of the unknowable." - Publishers Weekly

"As delicate yet plainspoken as his beautiful picture books, Elisha Cooper's Falling sketches out, in moving detail, a father's ultimate ordeal, from the time his young daughter is diagnosed with cancer through the long purgatory of waiting to find out if she will be cured. It's also a wonderful and often comic account of raising kids amid the quirky vexations and comforts of life in New York City." - Julia Glass, National Book Award–winning author of Three Junes

"Falling is the picture of a man helpless to help a sick child. Cooper's fear and powerlessness turn into a range of emotions, but ultimately, Falling is about love. This is a book I will never forget. I recommend it to everyone." - Abigail Thomas, author of A Three Dog Life

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Author Information

Elisha Cooper

Elisha Cooper is the author of Train, Farm, Homer, and, most recently, 8: An Animal Alphabet. His children's book, Beach, won the 2006 Society of Illustrators Gold Medal. Dance! was a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year. Other books include A Year in New York and the memoir Crawling: A Father's First Year. He lives with his family in New York City.

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