Book Review — Swimming with Maya

I picked up this book because the pic­ture on the cov­er looks like my own daugh­ter. When I read the back notes and learned that she was dead, I quick­ly put it back down. I didn’t want to read about Eleanor Vincent’s dev­as­tat­ing loss. For some rea­son, though, I felt com­pelled to try to com­pre­hend her experience.

What I found was indeed dis­tress­ing, but inspi­ra­tional at the same time. The book is in many ways a post­mortem trib­ute to Vincent’s daugh­ter and an explo­ration of the heal­ing effects of organ dona­tion. Tak­en in its entire­ty, how­ev­er, this book is real­ly about a jour­ney through the process of heal­ing from a life­time of psy­cho­log­i­cal trau­mas. The extreme grief over her daughter’s sud­den death and the strug­gle to cope with it lead Vin­cent down buried paths of pain going all the way back to her child­hood. She emerges trans­formed. She lost her daugh­ter, but there­in found her­self, and we can’t help but applaud her success.

1 thought on “Book Review — Swimming with Maya”

  1. Lau­rie, I want to thank you (belat­ed­ly) for your courage in read­ing and review­ing my book. I’m so glad you picked up on the themes of recov­ery and trans­for­ma­tion. Swim­ming with Maya is the true sto­ry of my jour­ney as a moth­er, what kept me going after the loss of my first born when she was a young adult, and what sus­tains me today. It’s been rich, com­plex, and worth sharing. 

    Eleanor Vin­cent


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