Books: Unfair fate

This book is both a tribute to the daughter and a catharsis for the mother

Books: Unfair fate (photo credit: AVITZOUR)
Books: Unfair fate
(photo credit: AVITZOUR)
As a mother of seven who used to live in the same neighborhood in Jerusalem as Sara Peterson Avitzour, the author of this memoir, I felt at some points that I was reading about my own worst nightmare.
Avitzour is also a mother of seven, one boy and six girls, one of whom she lost to cancer at the age of 18 in December 2000. In this raw, honest, and poignant memoir, Avitzour shares with her readers the story of her daughter Timora’s four year battle with leukemia through the eyes of a mother, who feels helpless in the face of her daughter’s unfair fate.
Avitzour lets her readers know right from the first page that the end of the story will not be a happy one, yet I kept on reading, not out of voyeuristic pleasure of hearing about another person’s sorrow, but out of a deep admiration for both mother and daughter, who dealt with this curve ball life threw them with dignity and spirit.
Avitzour does not glorify her daughter’s death or suffering. Nor does she turn Timora into a saint. Rather, she gives us an account of what it was like for her to accompany her precious daughter on a physically and emotionally painful journey through illness to death, at the same time that she memorializes her daughter and brings her back to life in the pages of this book.
This book is both a tribute to the daughter and a catharsis for the mother. As a writer, however, I felt the book could have used one more editing assignment. The book is actually a series of emails and blog postings combined into book form. But while they were clearly edited to some extent, the book still reads at times too much like a blog and not enough like a polished book.
This does not, however, detract from the beauty and power of the story.
"And Twice the Marrow of Her Bones" By Susan Petersen Avitzour is published by ZmanMa Books and is on sale for $16.95.