Holding Silvan by Monica Wesolowska
A Brief Life

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



In the opening of Holding Silvan: A Brief Life, Monica Wesolowska gives birth to her first child, a healthy-seeming boy who is taken from her arms for “observation” when he won’t stop crying. Within days, Monica and her husband have been given the grimmest of prognoses for Silvan, and they must make a choice about his life. The story that follows is not a story of typical maternal heroism. There is no medical miracle here. Instead, we find the strangest of hopes. Certain of her choice, Monica must still ask herself at every step if she is loving Silvan as well as a mother can. The result is a page-turning testimony to the power of love. By raising ethical questions about how a death can be good in the age of modern medicine, Holding Silvan becomes a joyous paean to what makes life itself good. Whether you have suffered profound loss or not, this book will change your life.

About Monica Wesolowska

See more books from this Author
Monica Wesolowska has published both fiction and memoir in numerous literary journals and anthologies including Best New American Voices 2000, The Carolina Quarterly, Quarter After Eight, Literary Mama, and the New York Times bestseller My Little Red Book.
Published February 18, 2013 by Hawthorne Books. 204 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Holding Silvan

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Though this heart-wrenching book revisits scenes from the author’s Catholic childhood, during which she was consumed with fear of losing her mother, and includes present-day musings on raising the sons she subsequently had, the majority of the narrative unfolds over the month of Silvan's life.

Feb 15 2013 | Read Full Review of Holding Silvan: A Brief Life

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

A mother explores, morally and emotionally, her decision to forgo medical help and allow her newborn son to die.

Mar 26 2013 | Read Full Review of Holding Silvan: A Brief Life

The Boston Globe

In this witty, intimate chronicle of psychiatry and its controversies, Shorter indicts changing tides in the entire field — a move toward psychoanalysis, which ignored the body in favor of the mind, and then psychopharmacology, which sold antidepressants to a public impressed by products built up...

Mar 02 2013 | Read Full Review of Holding Silvan: A Brief Life

Reader Rating for Holding Silvan

An aggregated and normalized score based on 50 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review