The Still Point of the Turning World The Still Point of the Turning World

The Still Point of the Turning World

    • 3.9 • 42 Ratings
    • $12.99
    • $12.99

Publisher Description

Like all mothers, Emily Rapp had ambitious plans for her first and only child, Ronan.  He would be smart, loyal, physically fearless, and level-headed, but fun.  He would be good at crossword puzzles like his father.  He would be an avid skier like his mother.  Rapp would speak to him in foreign languages and give him the best education.

But all of these plans changed when Ronan was diagnosed at nine months old with Tay-Sachs disease, a rare and always-fatal degenerative disorder.  Ronan was not expected to live beyond the age of three; he would be permanently stalled at a developmental level of six months.  Rapp and her husband were forced to re-evaluate everything they thought they knew about parenting.  They would have to learn to live with their child in the moment; to find happiness in the midst of sorrow; to parent without a future.

The Still Point of the Turning World is the story of a mother’s journey through grief and beyond it.  Rapp’s response to her son’s diagnosis was a belief that she needed to “make my world big”—to make sense of her family’s situation through art, literature, philosophy, theology and myth.  Drawing on a broad range of thinkers and writers, from C.S. Lewis to Sylvia Plath, Hegel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Rapp learns what wisdom there is to be gained from parenting a terminally ill child.  In luminous, exquisitely moving prose she re-examines our most fundamental assumptions about what it means to be a good parent, to be a success, and to live a meaningful life.

Biographies & Memoirs
March 7
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

Gales ferry ct ,

The still point of the turning world

My father died of leukemia almost 1 year ago and my reading has gravitated toward those who have similarly lost loved ones. Typically they have chronicled the disease and death. Emily takes us to the grief and acceptance of the impending loss we all feel when we have the knowledge that death is near. Certainly not what I expected, however, what I needed.

Pastizzio ,

Remarkably insightful and poetic

This book challenges your assumptions on what parenting is; juxtaposing the common practice of raising a child while focusing relentlessly on that child's future and the practice of parenting a child without one. It's not a simple tear jerker, but a treatise on the nature of being a parent when the rug is pulled out from under you. It couldn't have been easy to write, but I'm glad she did it.

Runn4 ,


I downloaded this after People magazine gave it 4 stars and was the book of the week. I was in the mood for a tear jerker and this had too much rambling in it. She quoted so many authors throughout the book; it bored me. I wanted to hear the details about Ronan and their last days with him. Maybe I'm morbid, but I wanted to know about Ronan's last breath and if she was holding him. You know, the typical mother thing, being there for his first breath and last breath.

More Books Like This

Heaven's Coast Heaven's Coast
All I Know All I Know
Bomb Shelter Bomb Shelter
Resilience Resilience
She I Dare Not Name She I Dare Not Name
Manhood for Amateurs Manhood for Amateurs

More Books by Emily Rapp Black

Sanctuary Sanctuary
Frida Kahlo and My Left Leg Frida Kahlo and My Left Leg

Customers Also Bought

Once More We Saw Stars Once More We Saw Stars
The Bright Hour The Bright Hour
The Unwinding of the Miracle The Unwinding of the Miracle
Everything Happens for a Reason Everything Happens for a Reason
In Love In Love
Left on Tenth Left on Tenth