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Swimming with Maya
     

Swimming with Maya

4.6 23
by Eleanor Vincent
 

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A New York Times Best Seller (#9 on Nonfiction e-Book List 8/4/13, #17 on 4/12/14).

In a memoir that has been called "heartbreaking and heart-healing," Eleanor Vincent shares an inspiring true story of courage, creativity, faith, and sheer tenacity as she seeks to find balance after unthinkable tragedy.

"Swimming with Maya" demonstrates the

Overview

A New York Times Best Seller (#9 on Nonfiction e-Book List 8/4/13, #17 on 4/12/14).

In a memoir that has been called "heartbreaking and heart-healing," Eleanor Vincent shares an inspiring true story of courage, creativity, faith, and sheer tenacity as she seeks to find balance after unthinkable tragedy.

"Swimming with Maya" demonstrates the remarkable process of healing after the traumatic death of a loved one. Eleanor raised her two daughters, Maya and Meghan, virtually as a single-parent. As a toddler, Maya was an angelic tow-head, full of life and curiosity. As a teenager, Maya was energetic and independent - and often butted heads with her mother. Maya eventually became a high-spirited and gifted young woman. Eleanor and Maya were always close and connected, like best friends or sisters, but always also mother and daughter.

Then at age 19, Maya mounts a horse bareback as a dare, falls, and is left in a coma from which she never recovers. Eleanor's life is turned upside down as she struggles to make the painful decision about Maya's fate.

Ultimately Eleanor chooses to donate Maya's organs. Years later, in one of the most poignant moments you will ever read about, Eleanor has the opportunity to hear her daughter's heart beat in the chest of the heart recipient. Along the way, Eleanor re-examines her relationship with her daughter, as well as the experiences that shaped Eleanor as a woman and as a mother to Maya.

An inspirational/motivational true story recommended for anyone who has experienced tragedy, who is grappling with traumatic experiences of the past, or who wants to better understand the strength and healing power of the human spirit.

Editorial Reviews

Lee Gutkind - Founder, Creative Nonfiction Magazine
Powerful prose with a meaningful and memorable message.
Founder, Creative Nonfiction Magazine
Powerful prose with a meaningful and memorable message.
National Book Critics Circle, Bookviews Blog
A powerful memoir.
Alan Caruba - National Book Critics Circle, Bookviews Blog
A powerful memoir.
Whitney Scott
Vincent rejoices as 19-year-old Maya is accepted with a full scholarship to the theater program at UCLA. While celebrating at a park with friends, Maya takes a dare to ride a horse bareback. When the horse suddenly rears, Maya is thrown, landing on her head precisely where the skull covers the mid-brain. Even seasoned athletes don't recover from such falls and the resultant comas. Vincent's poignant decision to donate Maya's organs will resonate with even hard-boiled readers.
Booklist - Whitney Scott
Vincent rejoices as 19-year-old Maya is accepted with a full scholarship to the theater program at UCLA. While celebrating at a park with friends, Maya takes a dare to ride a horse bareback. When the horse suddenly rears, Maya is thrown, landing on her head precisely where the skull covers the mid-brain. Even seasoned athletes don't recover from such falls and the resultant comas. Vincent's poignant decision to donate Maya's organs will resonate with even hard-boiled readers.
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
An important addition to the literature of loss and restoration.
Maxine Kumin - Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
An important addition to the literature of loss and restoration.
Ellen Bass - Author of "The Courage to Heal"
Heartbreaking and heart healing, this compelling story of surviving the death of a child will stay with you long after you've closed the book.
Author of "The Courage to Heal"
Heartbreaking and heart healing, this compelling story of surviving the death of a child will stay with you long after you've closed the book.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940016425542
Publisher:
Dream of Things
Publication date:
07/02/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
340
Sales rank:
133,149
File size:
696 KB

Meet the Author

Eleanor Vincent is an award-winning writer whose debut memoir, Swimming with Maya: A Mother's Story was nominated for the Independent Publisher Book Award and has been reissued by Dream of Things press. She writes about love, loss, and grief recovery with a special focus on the challenges and joys of raising children at any age.

Called "engaging" by Booklist, Swimming with Maya chronicles the life and death of Eleanor's nineteen-year-old daughter, Maya, who was thrown from a horse and pronounced brain-dead at the hospital. Eleanor donated her daughter's organs to critically ill patients and poignantly describes her friendship with a middle-aged man who was the recipient of Maya's heart.

Since the initial publication of Swimming with Maya in 2004, Eleanor has been a national spokesperson on grief recovery and organ donation and been interviewed on radio and television programs around the country.

She was born in Cleveland, Ohio and attended the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College.

Her essays appear in the anthologies At the End of Life: True Stories about How we Die (edited by Lee Gutkind); This I Believe: On Motherhood; and Impact: An Anthology of Short Memoirs. They celebrate the unique and complicated bonds between mothers and daughters, making hard decisions as a parent - whether your child is 14 or 40 - and navigating midlife transitions with grace and authenticity.

She lives in Oakland, California.

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Swimming with Maya 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Swimming with Maya is a heartbreaking story, but also one of survival after grief. I found the writing easy to follow. Once I started the book, it was hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such a touching story about a mother's love and loss. I fell like a better person for having read it.
EG678 More than 1 year ago
A touching story and a darn good book. It shows us how to turn loss into inspiration.
WereJumpin More than 1 year ago
When a book brings you to tears, you know the writer has pulled you into her words, and with Eleanor she pulls you into her story. I longed for Eleanor through having to tell her daughter’s story. It made me understand how my own Aunt must have went through when she buried her own son. I could never imagine the pain, the questions, or the emotions one might feel, but Eleanor captured just that. One part of the book that caught my attention, was when she was giving away Maya’s shoes and the girl tried them on then walked to make sure they fit. After the girl left Eleanor could still hear the sound of Maya’s feet. I would never have thought about that, and I can imagine that would be hard on any parent to witness, especially with coming to the realization their child just passed away. While getting further into the book, the book starts focusing more on the mother though, and I really wish it would have focused more on Maya: her childhood, laughter, the things she did, what she accomplished, etc. Overall is was an okay book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully written mother's story, sharing her experience with uncertainty, loss, grief, and recovery. As a pediatric former ICU nurse who did transplant work, I recognized so many elements of the story, and their accurate portrayal. Her candor can be painful to read, but she takes the hit for single mothers everywhere who worry about failing their children in ways large or small, simply by being human.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A heartbreaking read for any parent but brings to light the gifts of organ donation. Beautifully written from Eleanor's heart and soul.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Started and had to finish in one fell swoop. I think this book should be one everyone Must Read list. It helped me and my mom's been dead for over thirty years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful and so touching
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have had this book in my nook library for sometime. I was looking for something to read and decided to finally read it. Any of us could or have gone through the same grief. This book told an entire story of a woman's life before and after the loss of her oldest daughter, how she grew from one stage to another. Loss is something we all must deal with at one time or another, so a good read for anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a very raw and gripping account of what the loss of a loved one forces a family, and mother, to face. Although the author's honesty about the heartwrenching grief she suffered made it hard to read at times, I couldn't put the book down. I am truly amazed by the author's writing ability and the amount of courage she must possess to publish the details of such a personal and difficult time in her life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, emotionally raw and honest, and a beautiful memoir.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JBernardo More than 1 year ago
Eleanor Vincent wrote a memoir of her life that mirrored my grief as well. I was interested in reading it because of that. I also lost a daughter to a brain injury. I wanted to see how she got on with her life. It was also exceptionally well written. It was a bittersweet, loving tribute to her daughter that I wish I could write for mine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My heart just broke for Eleanor with the tragic loss of her child. I have never cried so much or felt so connected to someones story. God Bless Eleanor, may our ever loving lord continue to give her strength and a long over due sense of peace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent writing. If you have ever lost a loved one, this book will hit home.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would rate this book 4 stars because it is not the best book out there but it is still a pretty good book. I also like the author and the other books she has written. If you people are reading this comment, then this book is heartbreaking and it is still a good book. Two in one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very touching i like books lik this alot of moching ;)