Customer Reviews for

The Still Point of the Turning World

Average Rating 3
( 17 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

This memoir is a love story in its simplest form--that between a

This memoir is a love story in its simplest form--that between a mother and her dying son. It's a love without boundaries or expectations. As Emily Rapp introduces the book, "This is a love story, which, like all great love stories, is ultimately a story of loss.&q...
This memoir is a love story in its simplest form--that between a mother and her dying son. It's a love without boundaries or expectations. As Emily Rapp introduces the book, "This is a love story, which, like all great love stories, is ultimately a story of loss." And later, "What was unconditional love if not love that expects nothing in return, especially from a child who was arguably as helpless as Ronan? We made him, we loved him, end of story."

Following the journey from Ronan's diagnosis with Tay-Sachs disease at nine months through the year that follows is often heart-wrenching, sometimes uplifting, mostly inspiring, and always honest. The simultaneous joy and pain that Rapp struggles with everyday is heartbreaking, but is the reality she endures. Her writing is a gift to Ronan, her words the beauty that his story deserves.

"It is a unique and terrible privilege to witness the entire arc of a life, to see it through from its inception to its end. But it is also an opportunity to love without a net, without the future, without the past, but right now." 

She shows the reader what it is really like to be present and to love in time. How the best we can hope for our children is that they know this kind of love.

This book will stay with you, as will Ronan's sweet face, long after you finishing reading it. A must-read manifesto of love.

posted by katiecanes on March 13, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Not so great

I purchased this book after it was reviewed in People. While I have a huge amount of sympathy for the author, this book said the EXACT SAME THING in almost every chapter. I'm not sure what I expected, but this was disappointing. The book is well written, but the subj...
I purchased this book after it was reviewed in People. While I have a huge amount of sympathy for the author, this book said the EXACT SAME THING in almost every chapter. I'm not sure what I expected, but this was disappointing. The book is well written, but the subject matter could have been covered in a magazine article, not a 210 page book.

posted by ChippyLB on March 17, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    Not so great

    I purchased this book after it was reviewed in People. While I have a huge amount of sympathy for the author, this book said the EXACT SAME THING in almost every chapter. I'm not sure what I expected, but this was disappointing. The book is well written, but the subject matter could have been covered in a magazine article, not a 210 page book.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2013

    Although not as I expected, the book offers much philosophy and

    Although not as I expected, the book offers much philosophy and thought provoking references regarding grief, death, and life.  It seemed a bit disjointed at times, but I can understand that happening in the midst of anger and grief.  It portrays the state of Emily's mind trying to take in what has happened to her son.  Emily has been able to live many places and experience many cultures that the rest of us have not.  I had hoped for more content regarding the last months of Ronan's life (September 2011 - February 2013), information on who helped care for Ronan when Emily was traveling, the impact on her relationship with her family, husband, and friends, and students.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2013

    This book is far more about the author than the child whose trag

    This book is far more about the author than the child whose tragic death is the pretext for its publication. It is a smorgasbord of arcane literary references and sometimes bewildering personal recollections. At one point the author tells us how her blouse wound up on the floor while she was making out in a car in France. Call me old-fashioned, but I am a stickler for good taste. This is not my cup of tea.

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 13, 2013

    This memoir is a love story in its simplest form--that between a

    This memoir is a love story in its simplest form--that between a mother and her dying son. It's a love without boundaries or expectations. As Emily Rapp introduces the book, "This is a love story, which, like all great love stories, is ultimately a story of loss." And later, "What was unconditional love if not love that expects nothing in return, especially from a child who was arguably as helpless as Ronan? We made him, we loved him, end of story."

    Following the journey from Ronan's diagnosis with Tay-Sachs disease at nine months through the year that follows is often heart-wrenching, sometimes uplifting, mostly inspiring, and always honest. The simultaneous joy and pain that Rapp struggles with everyday is heartbreaking, but is the reality she endures. Her writing is a gift to Ronan, her words the beauty that his story deserves.

    "It is a unique and terrible privilege to witness the entire arc of a life, to see it through from its inception to its end. But it is also an opportunity to love without a net, without the future, without the past, but right now." 

    She shows the reader what it is really like to be present and to love in time. How the best we can hope for our children is that they know this kind of love.

    This book will stay with you, as will Ronan's sweet face, long after you finishing reading it. A must-read manifesto of love.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 15, 2013

    Was very unhappy with this book. It could have been a magazine a

    Was very unhappy with this book. It could have been a magazine article, but when you use five words to describe one word, you can write a book.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended!!!

    Great book. I would suggest that it is a must read!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2013

    I wish i had read the reviews before buying the book.

    Same as the headline. Did not tell how she actually dealt with her son dying. Maybe too personal, but what else was the purpose of the story? To give her philosophy of death? I wanted to know how someone else dealt with their grief and a close, personal, loved one dying. Tragic, but what was the story?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2013

    Should not waste your time!

    Very depressing. Did not even finish it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2013

    This is an awesome book - everyone should read it.

    How do you live knowing your baby is going to die and there is nothing that can save him? Emily Rapp simultaneously breaks your heart, comforts you and shares her solution. I bought this book after seeing Ms. Rapp on the Today Show. I wondered how, since she said that her child, Ronan, had died only a few weeks before, could she have this book on shelves. Why write? Because it provided her sanity. She says it herself on page 137, "I've always believed in the power of stories to make life cohere, to create a necessary order around us, and this can, in turn, help us fully live."

    This story will do just that.

    Its not a story about dying, it's a story of living, every day a celebration, every day a crisis, always focused on what will be the best way to make Ronan happy, and yet, Emily shares her emotional terror and confusion and makes you see life, and death, in an amazing and new way.

    It's sad, but not a downer. It's encouraging and not preachy. It's probably one of the best books I've read in years.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    I recommend.

    At times this book was difficult to read but I was glad I did. There is much to be learned from this family's story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    I understand that one would expect a good read. But this is an a

    I understand that one would expect a good read. But this is an autobiography about grief and loss. The author was not writing to sell, she was writing to make sense of all the chaos in her life. It filled me with tears and I am so glad I read this. 

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2013

    Aberry1282@yahoo

    Nook friend

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2014

    This book is full of powerful emotions but it's just not my cup

    This book is full of powerful emotions but it's just not my cup of tea. It very philosophical and religious. I thought it would focus a little more on tay sachs disease then on the parents of Ronan. This story mostly dealt with how the parents were dealing with their son having this disease.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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