Item description for Swimming With Maya: A Mother's Story (Capital Discovery) by Eleanor Vincent...
Eleanor Vincent raised her two daughters, Maya and Meghan, virtually as a single-parent while fighting her way toward a writing career. Maya, the eldest, was a high-spirited and gifted young woman. As a toddler Maya was an angelic tow-head, full of life and curiosity. Eleanor tells the story of how Maya went careening down a hill on her tricycle only to tumble onto the ground, then spring back up and do it again. As a teenager, Maya was energetic and possessed a strong streak of independence. She butted heads with her mother as she strove to find her path in life. But one thing was always clear, the close and connected relationship between Eleanor and Maya. They were like best friends or sisters, but always also mother and daughter.
At age 19, Maya mounted a horse bareback as a dare and in a crushing cantilever fall, was left in a coma from which she would never recover. Eleanor's life was turned upside down as she struggled to make the painful decision about Maya's fate. Ultimately she chose to donate Maya's organs. Maya's heart was given to a man with a young family who needed a new heart to live. As time went by, Eleanor contacted and struck up a friendship with the heart recipient and his family.
A story about the unique and complicated relationship between mothers and daughters, Swimming with Maya celebrates how that relationship continues to exist beyond the grave. In vivid language, Eleanor Vincent illuminates the kind of courage, creativity, faith, and sheer tenacity it takes to find one's balance after such an overwhelming blow.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5" Weight: 1 lbs.
Release Date Mar 23, 2004
Publisher Capital Books
ISBN 1931868344 ISBN13 9781931868341
Availability 0 units.
More About Eleanor Vincent
Vincent is the recipient of a Woman of Promise Award from the Feminist Writers' Guild and a Mary Merrit Henry Award from Mills College, where she received her MFA in Creative Writing in 1995. She lives in Walnut Creek, California.
Reviews - What do customers think about Swimming With Maya: A Mother's Story (Capital Discovery)?
At times this book was hard to read Aug 29, 2007
At times this book was hard to read..the author takes us back to her daughter's horseback riding accident--as I read about it I felt like I was there with her daughter when it happend. A good read for anyone that is 'letting there child go' in terms of growing up as well as 'letting their child go' in terms of 'pulling the plug' An important memoir to read.
Not a Gentle Memoir Apr 29, 2006
In one respect, "Swimming" is about organ donation, but that feature of the story would not be as meaningful without all of the back story of the people involved, particularly the mother and daughter at the heart of the story, and especially Ms. Vincent. The back story is related with such searing honesty and absence of sentimentality, that I could not put the book down.
Eleanor Vincent leaves no question in the reader's mind about WHO made that decision to donate her daughter's organs. It is a heroic gesture under any circumstances. But it also made human through the understanding we are given of the nature of the relationship between this mother and daughter, their history, and the place they had come to in their lives. I cried in several places, not because of the obvious sadness of the story, but because the writing unsettled with its "realness."
I came away from this book feeling that I had been allowed to take a long, moving look into the personal mythology of another human being, with its many radiances and confused shadings. Memoir always offers the possibility of that, but doesn't always deliver. Ms. Vincent delivers.
Psychological journey Aug 16, 2005
I picked up this book because the picture on the cover looks like my own daughter. When I read the back notes and learned that she was dead, I quickly put it back down. I didn't want to read about Eleanor Vincent's devastating loss. For some reason, though, I felt compelled to try to comprehend her experience.
What I found was indeed distressing, but inspirational at the same time. The book is in many ways a postmortem tribute to Vincent's daughter and an exploration of the healing effects of organ donation. Taken in its entirety, however, this book is really about a journey through the process of healing from a lifetime of psychological traumas. The extreme grief over her daughter's sudden death and the struggle to cope with it lead Vincent down buried paths of pain going all the way back to her childhood. She emerges transformed. She lost her daughter, but therein found herself, and we can't help but applaud her success.
Maya was my Cousin Jul 14, 2005
My Aunt Ellie sent me a copy of the book when it was finished, that was April of 2004. I finally finished just yesterday July 12th,2005. I never anticipated that it would describe in detail the harrowing wait in that hospital for those 4 days that we all endured. I had to put the book down for the year to regain the strength to read on. Being extremely close with Maya and having her be a huge part of my childhood, I thought there would be more about Maya's life as part of "Dan's" family. "Dan" is my Uncle, Maya's step-father and Maya was as connected to us as an actual blood relative of our family. Although this is much more of a biography rather then letting people really grasp who Maya was, it is a good book.
A inspirational story Oct 26, 2004
I loved this book. Keep a box of tissues handy. Well written and riveting, this book gets too close in describing the tragic loss of a child.