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A Sundog Moment [Paperback]

By Sharon Baldacci (Author)
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Item Number 102265  
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Item description for A Sundog Moment by Sharon Baldacci...

In Baldacci's deeply moving debut, a woman with multiple sclerosis faces a new journey fraught with wrenching pain, enduring wisdom, and authentic joy.

Publishers Description
- The author herself was diagnosed with MS 21 years ago and authentically and beautifully captures the thoughts and emotions of a vibrant woman navigating a new reality.- Comparable to Jan Karon's bestselling Mitford series, A SUNDOG MOMENT is brimming with insight and wisdom for everyone--no matter what their experience or point of view.- Sharon Baldacci has written for "The Herald-Progress and "Richmond Magazine, among others, and has won awards from the Virginia Press Association and the Virginia Press Women, of which she is a member.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Center Street
Pages   358
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.15" Width: 5.97" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   1.17 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2006
Publisher   Center Street
ISBN  1931722641  
ISBN13  9781931722643  

Availability  0 units.

More About Sharon Baldacci

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Baldacci was diagnosed with MS 21 years ago. She is an award-winning journalist.

Sharon Baldacci currently resides in the state of Virginia.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Disorders & Diseases > Mutiple Sclerosis
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Fiction > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction > General
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Womens Fiction

Christian Product Categories
Books > Fiction > General Christian > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about A Sundog Moment?

When bad things happen to saintly people...  Jun 6, 2009
Sigh... Okay, I fully realize that I am probably a horrible person for not liking a book about a woman struggling with MS, written BY a woman struggling with MS. But I'm sorry, this was a painful read, and not because of the issues that are addressed.

The most immediate problem for me is the writing. I understand that Sharon Baldacci is "an award winning journalist". While I'm sure her writing is fine for journalism, fiction - and especially dialogue - is quite a different thing, and one that I don't think is her strong suit. For example, upon being asked how she's feeling by her doctor, Elizabeth replies "Incredibly better. Whatever is in that liquid you have dripping through my veins? Why, it must be magic!" I think that was the first time I literally cringed, and this was only on page 7. When entering her friends' home, Elizabeth is greeted with "Won't you partake of our coffee and low fat danish?" Real people don't talk this way, and it sounds very unnatural. Even worse is a bit later on in the book while a grieving man talks about his young godson, who has just died in an accident: "As he grew into a bright, insightful boy he was a delight to us, who have never had children. We would plan trips with him, activities to expose him to the beauties of the world - it's plays, theater, music, stories..." Ugh. Such flowery prose might have a place in an essay about loss, but again - no one speaks like that in casual conversation, especially hours after hearing of a loved one's death.

Secondly, and perhaps the biggest problem for me, was that every character was completely unlikeable. The clueless, controlling oaf of a husband; the cold, materialistic mother (she literally rocks and mumbles when her young granddaughter spills the contents of her jewelery box), and the forever drunken best friend were annoying enough. But I couldn't even garner any sympathy for Elizabeth, the protaganist who's given the diagnosis of mutiple sclerosis. Why would I feel sorry for her, when she apparently has no problem with it? I'm exaggerating a bit - she does have moments of despair, but these are brief, and she always overcomes them by thinking of people worse off than her - like people in concentration camps, or with no feet. A real person would have every right to feel sorry for themselves, and a real person WOULD. It's human nature, and would have made Elizabeth's coming to terms with her diagnosis more believable. Instead, her biggest regret seems to be over being unable to wear high heeled shoes. Seriously - this comes up about every other page!

Even when her creepy husband takes it upon himself to tender Elizabeth's resignation from her volunteer job rocking crack babies - without even telling her - she gets angry for about 10 minutes and then forgives him completely because he apologizes and explains he was only trying to do what was best for her. Wow - talk about an abusive relationship! Eventually, Elizabeth does realize what a jackass Michael is and leaves him, but this plotline is wrapped up far too neatly.

Finally, there are some completely contrived situations that made my eyes roll nearly right out of my head, such as the doctor driving drunk and nearly hitting a kid on a bike. He drives off without stopping to see whether he killed him and spends a night in terror of being found out - only to merrily take off for the beach the next morning. There, he immediately recognizes the kid he nearly killed - who he only glimpsed briefly out the windshield late at night while he was drunk. The kid also instantly recognizes the drunk who nearly killed him, and runs right over to beg him not to tell his parents he was riding his bike in the dark. Puh-lease! And the literal "love at first sight" between Elizabeth's daughter Kellan and a member of her support group was cringe-worthy (if the author had written this as a screen play, I can imagine her adding a special effect to show the stars lighting up in their eyes, like in cartoons) and only grew less believable as their relationship and Kellan's saintly acceptance of Gregory's future progressed. And don't even get me started on the Serenity subplot. I've rarely been so relieved to be done reading a book.

I think Ms. Baldacci could probably tell some interesting and inspiring stories about her own experiences with MS. If she'd written in the form of a memoir and not tried to create original characters, dialogue, and plot, it might have been a good read. This way, it just doesn't work.

Worth the Read...for several reasons  Jul 11, 2006
I must disagree with "disappointed's" review. I have MS, the experiences in this book are accurate. While MSer's experience different symptoms and progession of the disease, much of what the author writes about is very real to the those who are dx's and learning to live with a chronic illness. I would encourage this as a book for those who HAVE MS and for those who want to understand MS. The 'drug' use is very real, Montel Williams who has MS is a very vocal advocate for the use of 'recreational drugs' for symptom relief, this is not for me, but the debate is very real. People with MS will get what they need out of the books, those looking for an understanding of the disease should read it with an open mind.(very much a problem with people who don't understand the disease). THE OTHER BENEFIT of the book is the characters struggle w/faith, this was a very unexpected addition to the meaning of the book, that I found personally rewarding. I gave the book a 4(not a five) because I felt she fell into a few "danielle steel" moments with her overly flowerly descriptions of the romance, I found myself thinking 'keep it real and raw' like the rest of the book, get away from the the wordy romance.(oh, by the way I have wonderful marriage too) I am not a STeel fan at all...HOWEVER, it is still very much worth the read.
insightful inspirational character study   Feb 25, 2006
Michael and Elizabeth Whittaker are a loving well-balanced couple fluid like Astaire and Rogers in all they do. However, without warning, Elizabeth begins to become uncoordinated. Concerned they have her checked out fearing a brain tumor. Though not that, both are stunned when Dr. Jones informs them she suffers from multiple sclerosis. Their harmonious world will never be the same.

Her family and friends react with horror only adding to Elizabeth's sudden feeling of isolation from the secure world she knew. Her mom is over the edge; her best friend has no idea how to act with her; and her loving spouse fears leaving her on her own. Needing understanding not trepidation, Elizbath joins the Northern Neck Neuromuscular Support Group, but some members turn to marijuana for healing and pain relief. Instead Elizabeth turns to Father Wells who advices her to seek the sun where sundogs provide halos of hope when things seem it's darkest.

This insightful inspirational character study will grip the audience from the moment that the heroine begins to comprehend that she has more than just an illness to battle; as caring relatives and buddies drive her up a wall. Elizabeth's search for solace goes through the five steps of grief as she struggles spiritually as much as emotionally especially as her body fails her. Though the realistic portrayal that makes this a strong novel at times slows down the pacing, Sharon Baldacci, an MS sufferer, provides a wonderful tale of a courageous woman.
Hope for the hurting  Nov 29, 2004
What a book to put in doctors' offices for those suffering with pain! No, it's not a 'feel good' book - but pain isn't 'feel good'. I have to admit that I know the author slightly, as we all live on the Northern Neck of Virginia where you can't 'not know someone'. But this woman is a true hero, and I'm sending a copy to my adult son who lives with pain. We are not talking about a 'good read' here, we are talking about a truly useful and inspiring book. Oh, and yes, my child gets relief from marijuana that he can't get from any other (government approved) drug.
A bit thick, but well-worth the time to read!  Sep 6, 2004
Elizabeth Whittaker has suddenly developed some mysterious symptoms that have her husband and doctors baffled. Afraid of a brain tumor, they run test after test, relieved to find out that a tumor isn't what is causing her problems. Something incurable is. Her husband, Michael is devastated to learn his wife has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

Beautiful, talented Elizabeth laughs the diagnosis off. She'll be fine. Okay, she has a few problems, but they'll go away. She doesn't seem to understand why everyone is so concerned. Her daughter has just left to attend college, now Elizabeth's life is ahead of her.

Once the truth sinks in, the shock is total and the fear overwhelming. Now, Elizabeth must travel down a road she would have never chosen to travel if given a choice. Facing tough physical, emotional and spiritual challenges, Elizabeth searches for relief by making some decisions-and the decision she makes threatens everything she holds dear.

A SUNDOG MOMENT is a beautiful first book written by a talented author. Elizabeth and Michael are a very realistic couple, in love with each other, even after years together. I was saddened by Elizabeth's diagnosis, and hoped the doctors would be wrong.

A SUNDOG MOMENT is a bit thick, but well-worth the time to read. The story is beautiful, told with humor mixed with the truth. Even when the night seems the darkest, God doesn't let you walk the path alone. I couldn't read this book in one sitting, I had to pick it up and read some, then put it down and think about what I read. This book is probably best read in small doses, so you can consider everything.

--- reviewed by Laura V. Hilton for Christian Bookshelf

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