Susan Biggar was less than vaguely prepared for motherhood. When it came early, her son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. As maternal instincts kicked in, so did a steep learning curve on chronic disease and a whole new relationship with the medical profession. Biggar’s narrative steps neatly away from cloying sentimentality or the maudlin. She’s a practical American who married a New Zealander and came to live all over the world – complete with two children with CF. She tell tales of medical systems and doctors, of happy, growing offspring, and of her ability to keep her faith, despite noxious responses from fellow church-members when she terminates a CF pregnancy. It is a very different memoir which points out that no one quite knows the way life will turn out. Four stars.
Samela Harris, The Advertiser, 20 September 2014
According to the author, living with cystic fibrosis is like living with an earthquake, never knowing when the condition is about to erupt. Biggar uses the comparison with experience of both living near California’s San Andreas fault and the battle her family has fought with two of her children dealing with the effects of the debilitating illness. “From the outside we look reasonably normal … underneath our family’s little world the ground rumbles and shakes, occasionally shocking us with its force,’ she says of her battle to tame the problem. Based on her traumatic experiences, now Melbourne-based Biggar advocates a more patient-centred health system after feeling “powerless and frustrated”.
Martin Stevenson, The Examiner, 20 September 2014