Saturday, December 3, 2016

Motherhood: Lost and Found by Ann Campanella

Motherhood: Lost and Found takes the reader on a journey where Alzheimer's disease and infertility intersect. At age 33, award-winning author and poet Ann Campanella returns to her home state of North Carolina ready to build a horse farm and start a family. Ann's foundation is shaken when she experiences multiple miscarriages at the same time her mother spirals into Alzheimer's. The author's devotion to her family and her horse Crimson sustain her as her mother's illness progresses and her own window of potential motherhood begins to close.

Formerly a magazine and newspaper journalist, Ann Campanella has been writing nonfiction, memoir and poetry for over 30 years. Before her mother became ill with Alzheimer’s, Ann and her husband lived in Houston, Texas, where she rode horses and worked first as the executive editor of a community newspaper, and later as the managing editor of a daily paper. While Ann enjoyed many aspects of newspaper work, the daily grind of hard news wore her down, and she felt compelled to nourish her soul through creative writing projects and spending time with horses.

When she and her husband moved back to North Carolina to be closer to family, they built a barn for Ann’s horse Crimson. She also discovered that Tony Abbott, her old mentor from Davidson College, was teaching poetry classes. Ann’s writing spirit caught fire under his tutelage. She was honored to win the Poet Laureate Award twice from the North Carolina Poetry Society. But Ann spent most of her time on her pet project – MOTHERHOOD: LOST AND FOUND – a memoir about her mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s at the same time Ann was trying to become a mother.

After many miscarriages and much heartache, Ann and her husband were blessed with a baby. Through the years, Ann has enjoyed sharing her passion for writing and horses with her daughter, who is now a teenager. She and her family and animals live on a small horse farm in North Carolina.

For more information about Ann and her books, please see:

My review…
True to the title Motherhood: Lost and Found is a bittersweet journey through complicated life scenarios that end in simple miracles. After years of collective challenges, while embracing joy in hopeful moments, Author Campanella writes, “I feel like the walking dead.”  Campanella’s memoir reveals the compassion and wisdom needed to care for aging parents, while she struggles to find her own happiness. Campanella doesn’t hold back; she describes every smile, unending love, certain heartbreak, through every breath. One passage at the end of the book, to me, reflected how she felt when she began her journey, “I am both in the sanctuary and above it.” Motherhood: Lost and Found resonates and intrigues; making me think of my own parents/ family, and what lies ahead. Recommended reading for everyone.

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