When someone says, at a holiday dinner table, "Oh, those Lawrence cousins lose control all the time," or "the Davises always had more talent than luck," you can be sure there's a lesson being passed along, from one generation to another. Who tells stories to whom and about what is never a random matter. Our family stories have a secret power: they play a unique role in shaping our identity, our sense of our place in the world. The give us values, inspirations, warnings, incentives. We need them. We use them. We keep them. They reverberate throughout our lives, affecting our choices in love, work, friendship, and lifestyle. Elizabeth Stone, whose grandparents came from Italy to Brooklyn, artfully weaves her own family stories among the stories of more than a hundred people of all backgrounds, ages, and regions - clarifying for us predictable types of family legends, providing ways to interpret our own stories and their roles in our lives. She examines stories of birth, death, work, money, romantic adventure - all in the context of the family storytelling ritual. And she shows how stories about our most ancient ancestors may provide answers at milestone moments in our lives, as well as how stories about our newest family members carve out places for them so they will fit into their families, comfortably or otherwise. Upon its initial publication in 1988, Studs Terkel said that the book is "A wholly original approach to an ancient theme: family storytelling and its lasting mark on the individual." Judy Collins noted that "Elizabeth Stone's marvelous book on family myths and fables is irresistible. It lets us in on our own secrets in a provocative and exciting way." And Maggie Scarf wrote, "What a clever topic, and how beautifully Elizabeth Stone has written about it! I recommend Black Sheep and Kissing Cousins for everyone who has ever been raised in a family."
Miscarriage is a taboo word. To discuss such a loss makes many people extremely uncomfortable. As a result, it is all too frequently swept under the carpet, leaving the sufferer feeling desperately alone with their grief. The author is passionate about bringing awareness to the silent suffering endured and invites you to join her on a journey exploring the darkest days of grief and pain, to the beginning of the healing process. Lorraine was initially dismissive when her miscarried child attempted to attract his mother’s attention from the afterlife. Fortunately, her son was not about to give up. With the help of several gifted mediums and a few tricks of his own, this tenacious soul has proven his undeniable existence from the other side. He has also initiated communication with many family members in spirit and uncovered a previously unknown relative. Babies lost in the womb have never actually been lost at all, even those taken at the earliest gestation. They remain safe, blissfully content, and incredibly close to their parents.
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