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Knowing Jesse: Book summary and reviews of Knowing Jesse by Marianne Leone

Knowing Jesse

A Mother's Story of Grief, Grace, and Everyday Bliss

by Marianne Leone

Knowing Jesse by Marianne Leone X
Knowing Jesse by Marianne Leone
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About this book

Book Summary

Jesse Cooper was an honor-roll student who loved to windsurf and write poetry. He also had severe cerebral palsy and was quadriplegic, unable to speak, and wracked by seizures. He died suddenly at age seventeen.

In fiercely honest, surprisingly funny, and sometimes heartbreaking prose, Jesse's mother, Marianne Leone, chronicles her transformation by the remarkable life and untimely death of her child. An unforgettable memoir of joy, grief, and triumph, Knowing Jesse unlocks the secret of unconditional love and speaks to all families who strive to do right by their children.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A mother's passion-filled memoir of her fight to give her disabled son the life he deserved. ... Heartwarming." - Kirkus Reviews

"This book will break your heart. This book will make you angry. It will make you laugh and cry and cheer. But mostly, this book will lift you up." - Ann Hood, author of Comfort and The Knitting Circle

"Knowing Jesse is an incandescent memoir, glowing with a mother's love for her disabled son and fueled by her righteous anger. With fierce honesty and unexpected humor, Marianne Leone illuminates the challenges of Jesse's life, the courage with which he faced them, and the joy he brought those lucky enough to know him." - Tom Perrotta, author of The Abstinence Teacher and Little Children

"Knowing Jesse is an important book for any parent to read. The Coopers' story forces us to face the hard question of whose responsibility it is to speak for children who cannot speak for themselves." - Richard Russo, author of That Old Cape Magic

"Like a master tightrope walker, Marianne Leone avoids any fall here into understandable sentimentality or self-pity. Instead, she has stepped nakedly into the larger human truths of her own story and given us back a life-sustaining feast. Knowing Jesse goes beyond a living portrait of this remarkable boy and his family; it explores the unbreakable blood ties between parents and children, that chosen thread between husbands and wives, and that sometimes hazardous web of other people called bureaucracy. At the heart of all this is a Sufi aphorism that speaks agelessly to the true nature of loss itself, that it has an afterlife where spirit lies. With humor, guts, and grace, Knowing Jesse will carry you compellingly to yours!" - Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog

This information about Knowing Jesse was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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