Thank you Heather Harpham for spending 5 years to get this book right. Tough to write but finely crafted throughout. I came close to carrying my Kindle into the shower because I was so absorbed in Gracie's journey. The humorous touches made it all bearable. Even
I rooted for Brian throughout. Although he wasn't there in the beginning, once he committed he never wavered. For not wanting to be a Daddy, he had some mad skills. Heather put her own shortcomings on full display. She was totally enmeshed in Gracie's world and unable to lean on a husband who was ready and willing to be leaned on. Using Gracie and Gabriel's own words to flesh them out for the readers was perfect. She was a master at showing us rather than telling us. The village that surrounded this family was paid the highest of tributes. I'm certain this book feels like a gift to them.
Some diseases are simply undiagnosable regardless of how many specialists weigh in. A trusted doctor said, "We don't know what is broken, but if we take out the old engine and replace it with a new engine, the car will run." Replacing that engine led to a bone marrow transplant---a scary solution for anyone, especially a young child. Brian encourages "growth choices" and is often not a fan of Heather's need to tell Gracie more than she can grasp.
I was not a huge fan of the title and pretended that the subtitle was the main title. However, happiness was an elusive theme. "When did happiness become the one golden ring we reach for How about being guided by what is right or ethical or meaningful" I totally agree that happiness is "something we trip over on our way somewhere else."
I'm guessing that Heather would agree with David Eggers comment that writing "spreads weight over a larger area." As a reader I have felt the weight and celebrated this imperfect family. One final note--I'm glad you let Gabriel wear his bee boots to bed