Growing up as the daughter of a dedicated surgeon, Elizabeth L.Read more...
Growing up as the daughter of a dedicated surgeon, Elizabeth L. Silver felt an unquestioned faith in medicine. When her six-week-old daughter, Abby, was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with sudden seizures, and scans revealed a serious brain bleed, her relationship to medicine began to change.
The Tincture of Time is Silver's gorgeous and haunting chronicle of Abby's first year. It's a year of unending tests, doctors' opinions, sleepless nights, promising signs and steps backward, and above all, uncertainty: The mysterious circumstances of Abby's hospitalization attract dozens of specialists, none of whom can offer a conclusive answer about what went wrong or what the future holds. As Silver explores what it means to cope with uncertainty as a patient and parent and seeks peace in the reality that Abby's injury may never be fully understood, she looks beyond her own story for comfort, probing literature and religion, examining the practice of medicine throughout history, and reporting the experiences of doctors, patients, and fellow caretakers. The result is a brilliant blend of personal narrative and cultural analysis, at once a poignant snapshot of a parent's struggle and a wise meditation on the reality of uncertainty, in and out of medicine, and the hard-won truth that time is often its only cure.
Heart-wrenching, unflinchingly honest, and beautifully written, The Tincture of Time is a powerful story of parenthood, an astute examination of the boundaries of medicine, and an inspiring reminder of life's precariousness.
- ISBN-13: 9781101981443
- ISBN-10: 110198144X
- Publisher: Penguin Press
- Publish Date: April 2017
- Page Count: 272
- Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-01-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Silvers (The Execution of Noa P. Singleton) memoir of her newborn daughters medical trauma is smartly conceived and well written. Medical is a parenthetical for a reason: Our story is nothing. A two week NICU stay with no surgery thus far. A fever. But it doesnt feel like nothing to Silver and her husband, the parents of a six-week-old with seizures caused by a potentially tragic grade IV bleed in her brain. For two weeks, there is nothing to do but bide time while tiny Abby is prodded and poked. They wait for a diagnosis, for a certainty that will not come. Several social workers question them closely, looking for signs of abuse, an added stress that only stops when a scan turns up no signs of trauma. At her daughters lowest point, Silvers sister-in-law arranges for 40 women to bake challah while saying prayers for Abbys recovery. Silver watches via Skype, her thoughts wandering to Les Miserables and Amadeus and the power of music, distracting the reader from what the more poignant power of dozens of strangers united in one hope. It is this reliance on tropes like Google searches and dictionary definitions that sometimes dulls the emotional heart of her otherwise excellent book. (Apr.)