Matthew: A Memoir

Anne Crosby, Author . Paul Dry $24.95 (354p) ISBN 978-1-58988-026-9

In the early 1960s, before extensive prenatal testing was available, Anne Crosby expressed to her gynecologist that there was something "terribly wrong" with her unborn baby. Her doctor dismissed her concerns, suggesting that her "problem" was that she had a baby with a man who was not her husband. Crosby gave birth to a son, Matthew, with Down's syndrome. She struggled for Matthew's entire life (he died at age 24) to provide him with quality care and a sense of security, despite being encouraged by professionals to focus her full attention on her older daughter and to accept Matthew as "The Throwaway Child." Through journal-like entries, Crosby, a painter from England, creates a beautiful portrait of Matthew throughout his years, sparing no painful detail, and underscores the importance his physical surroundings play in his emotional well-being. She's conflicted in discussing Matthew's father, Theo, especially when portraying Theo's feelings toward his son's disability (at one point accusing Crosby of being "too attentive" as Matthew was slowly dying in a hospital ward from heart failure). Crosby's memoir, both humorous and sad, is raw in emotion and unflinching in its honesty. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 06/01/2006
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