cover image Poor Your Soul: A Memoir

Poor Your Soul: A Memoir

Mira Ptacin. Soho, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-61695-634-9

Ptacin is 28 and newly pregnant at the onset of this nicely paced, moving memoir of loss and renewal. Recently uprooted from an editing job in Maine, the Michigan-born author came to Manhattan to attend a writing program and live with her fiancé, an engineer whom she met through an online dating service. Ptacin was shocked and ambivalent about the unplanned pregnancy (she had been on the Pill), but the couple readied for parenthood and eventually wed. Through flashbacks, she shares her Michigan upbringing in Battle Creek, and a loving family that includes an endearing physician father, a restaurateur mother who also holds a physics degree, and two siblings. As a teen, the author hangs out with the “bad kids,” runs away from home for a brief period, and returns to make amends just as a tragic accident takes her young brother’s life. Yet another tragedy befalls Ptacin as an adult; an ultrasound reveals that Ptacin’s baby that it will not survive outside the womb, and she then must choose a method of terminating the pregnancy, an emotionally painful process she describes in detail. “Poor your soul” is a phrase Ptacin’s mother uses, and it’s an apt title for a book that delves deeply into the nature of grief. Ptacin’s memoir is a raw and absorbing story of family fortitude and a young woman’s struggle to confront and accept the unexpected.[em] (Jan.) [/em]