I have a great deal of respect for Ellen Painter Dollar. In addition writing regularly on her Patheos blog, she is also the author of No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Parenthood, and Faith in an Age of Advanced Reproduction. I haven't read the book, though it's high on my to-read list. I only just encountered Dollar's work recently when she guest-posted on Amy Julia Becker's blog, and was disappointed that our paths didn't cross at the Festival of Faith and Writing. I was so pleased to hear that she would be writing the review of my book for the Englewood Review of Books - though also a little nervous. I've read enough of Dollar's writing to know that she is a remarkably incisive writer. I knew her evaluation would be candid and insightful. If she panned the book, well, let's just say that would mean considerably more to me than an anonymous negative critique.
She loved the book.
I can't seem to pick my favorite passage to quote, so I encourage you to just go over and read it for yourself. But before you do, know that the reason I love this review so much isn't solely because she praised it, though that is of course squeal-inducing.
I also love her review because I agree with her critique - what she calls the book's "sole off-note." I wish I'd ended the book a bit differently than I did. The postscript is okay, but it isn't what it could be. Actually, it just dawned on me the other day that a blog post I wrote shortly after Genevieve was born would have been a much stronger postscript (adapted and revised, of course). I was too wrapped up in the new baby and the publication process to see it at the time.
I'm not going to stew about it - it is what it is. Maybe I'll have a chance to redeem my postscript skills when (if?) I write another book. For the meantime, I can trust that one off-note doesn't ruin the whole opera. Or something like that.
A great big thank you to Ellen Painter Dollar and the Englewood Review of Books!