About The Unfinished Child
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: Brindle & Glass (April 2, 2013)
When Marie MacPherson, a mother of two, finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at thirty-nine, she feels guilty. Her best friend, Elizabeth, has never been able to conceive, despite years of fertility treatments. Marie’s dilemma is further complicated when she becomes convinced something is wrong with her baby. She then enters the world of genetic testing and is entirely unprepared for the decision that lies ahead.
Intertwined throughout the novel is the story of Margaret, who gave birth to a daughter with Down syndrome in 1947, when such infants were defined as “unfinished” children. As the novel shifts back and forth through the decades, the lives of the three women converge, and the story speeds to an unexpected conclusion.
With skill and poise, debut novelist Theresa Shea dramatically explores society’s changing views of Down syndrome over the past sixty years. The story offers an unflinching and compassionate history of the treatment of people with Down syndrome and their struggle for basic human rights. Ultimately, The Unfinished Child is an unforgettable and inspiring tale about the mysterious and complex bonds of family, friendship, and motherhood.
The Unfinished Child was a finalist in the 2013 BookBundlz Book Pick Contest. The novel is currently long listed for the 2014 Alberta Readers’ Choice Award.
“Gripping. Heart-wrenching. Thought-provoking. Riveting. Haunting. Unputdownable … I broke down in tears many times throughout this deftly imagined story, and although I wanted to be able to summon up some righteous outrage at times, what I mostly felt was enlightened and a deep compassion. It drives home the fact that despite the debates raging about prenatal testing, abortion, and inclusion, nothing is black and white, and there are no easy answers. This is a must read for not only parents in the Down syndrome community, but for all parents, and for anyone who appreciates masterful story-telling. I will not soon forget this book.” –Lisa Morguess, Turn the Page blog
“Some readers have commented that this book would be an excellent selection for a book club. The Unfinished Child forces people to think about ethics and issues, and would be an excellent starting point for discussions. But in addition to all that, it’s just a really good novel.”–Daily Herald Tribune
Theresa Shea is a mother, novelist, freelance writer, and university lecturer. Her debut novel, The Unfinished Child, was published to favorable reviews in the spring of 2013 by Brindle & Glass.
Born in Silver Spring, Maryland, Shea has lived in Virginia, Japan, Minnesota, and Illinois. In 1977 she moved to Canada and settled in Edmonton before moving to Jasper, Montreal, Kingston, and Gibsons Landing, on British Columbia’s beautiful Sunshine Coast. However, the magnetic North keeps drawing her back, and she currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta again with her husband, three homeschooled children, and one golden retriever.
Shea attended McGill University (BA), Queen’s University (MA), and the University of Alberta (Ph.D.). The Unfinished Child draws on her experience of coming to motherhood later in life, at the age of 35, and being caught off guard by genetic counseling, prenatal testing, and the culture of fear surrounding pregnancy.
Currently, she is working on her second book, a novel set in Washington D.C. that deals with the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
Theresa Shea’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, May 5th: Time 2 Read
Wednesday, May 7th: Book Mama Blog
Friday, May 9th: Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity
Monday, May 12th: The Book Wheel
Thursday, May 15th: Chronicles…
Friday, May 16th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Monday, May 19th: Luxury Reading
Tuesday, May 20th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, May 22nd: Kritter’s Ramblings
Monday, May 26th: Sweet Southern Home
Tuesday, May 27th: A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Monday, June 2nd: Read Lately