EARLY BOOK REVIEWS: Every Least Sparrow by Carolyn Walker
Author: Carolyn Walker
Garn Press (226 pp.)
$27.95 hardcover, $17.95 paperback, $9.99 e-book. Ebook $2.99 through Kindle Matchbook Program
Paperback & Hardcover Available: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound (local bookstore)
eBook Available: Amazon. Ebook $2.99 through Kindle Matchbook Program. Available for free through Amazon Kindle Unlimited Program.
Every Least Sparrow is simultaneously heartbreaking and delightful in revealing the story of Jennifer Walker, a girl born with Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, a rare and confounding condition that affects mental and physical development. Nearly every one of Jennifer’s body functions is adversely affected by this disorder, creating enormous challenges. Rubinstein-Taybi, however, cannot lay claim to Jennifer’s spirit, or her mother’s determination that her daughter live a full and happy life.
With the support of Jennifer’s father and siblings, and devoted pediatrician, they set forth on a quest to find the “normal” that every child deserves, and every parent hopes for. Their quest takes them from fear through desperation, to true enlightenment — a profound understanding of what it means to be human. Ultimately, all involved, and especially the mother, realize the gifts of Rubinstein-Taybi: enduring love, and even envy for the accepting and joyous life that is Jennifer’s. Learn more about Every Least Sparrow.
Early Book Reviews
The word syndrome? Please just forget it. Read this marvelous book, cry and laugh, and enjoy. – Raoul Hennekam MD PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Translational Genetics, University of Amsterdam, Medical Advisor of Rubinstein-Taybi support groups
“This is a wonderful and touching book that takes us into the world of disability –a world most of us know little about. The experience of actually entering this world is unforgettable. Jennifer Walker, born with RT Syndrome, teaches us all the importance of experiencing life with an attitude of “yes, I can.” Her spirit is amazing. You cannot help but admire her zest for life and fall a bit in love with this determined girl. Kudos to Carolyn Walker, Jennifer’s mother, for writing a book that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. As a mother, myself, I walked with Carolyn through her confusing, frustrating and dark hours. I found myself shedding tears as well as feeling victory. I was so impressed with her ability to write with such honesty and love. This is such a beautiful story of Faith, Hope, and Love — “Faith to keep believing without seeing; hope to carry on when life seems dark; and Love that hangs around though problems do abound.” What an amazing family. What an amazing book. I definitely recommend Every Least Sparrow.” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON
“Every Least Sparrow is heartbreaking, funny, and up-lifting. Carolyn Walker tells her story with unflinching honesty and a notable absence of self-pity or melodrama. Beginning with the unusual birth of her unusual daughter, Jennifer, this well-crafted story pulls you in and doesn’t let you go until Jennifer grows up. The entire journey, fraught with frustration, despair and determination, is also saturated with love, not a thin, saccharine love but rather a robust, hard won, fierce and eternal kind of love. Beautifully written, a compelling read.” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON
“This book is so honest and raw and beautiful. It gives you an intimate, real-life view of a family riding the waves of raising and living with a special needs child. It is both joyful and heartbreaking. Carolyn weaves such detail into her writing that you feel like you are there, in the moments she spent raising her daughter, Jennifer. This book is an inspiring read for parents and families with special needs children and, truly, a wonderfully shared journey that will capture and uplift any reader.” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON
“Grace, courage and steadfast love is what you’ll find in Carolyn Walker’s new book. Unflinchingly truthful and at times emotionally wrenching, Walker describes growing up her daughter Jennifer, with RT syndrome, to independent living. This is a beautifully written many-layered book of family survival.” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON
“This is a very touching and heart-felt story that reveals both the anguish and the deep love and joy of caring for a sweet disabled child. It is surprisingly uplifting and is amazingly honest and very readable. I highly recommend this great book.” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON
“Great read you will find yourself inspired by Jennifer and her family. This book would make a wonderful addition to any medical or nursing school experience.” – Amazon Customer, AMAZON
About Carolyn Walker
Carolyn Walker is a memoirist, essayist, poet, and creative writing instructor. After working twenty-five years as a journalist, she returned to graduate school and earned her MFA in Writing degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2004.
Her work has appeared in The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, Hunger Mountain, The Writer’s Chronicle, Gravity Pulls You In: Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum, and many other publications.
Her essay “Christian Become a Blur” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and reprinted in the 50th anniversary edition of Crazyhorse. In 2013, she was made a Kresge Fellow in the Literary Arts by the Kresge Foundation. She is a lifelong Michigan resident and the married mother of three grown children.