A New York Time s Notable Book
The Family on Beartown Road is Elizabeth Cohen’s true and moving portrait of love and courage.
Elizabeth, a member of the “sandwich generation”—those caught in the middle, simultaneously caring for their children and for their aging parents—is the mother of baby Ava and the daughter of Daddy, and responsible for both. In this story full of everyday triumphs, first steps, and an elder’s confusion, Ava finds each new picture, each new word, each new song, something to learn greedily, joyfully. Daddy is a man in his twilight years, for whom time moves slowly and lessons are not learned but quietly, frustratingly forgotten. Elizabeth, a suddenly single mother with a career and a mortgage and a hamperful of laundry, finds her world spiraling out of control. Faced with mounting disasters, she chooses to confront life head-on, and to see the unique beauty in each and every moment.
Imbued with an unquenchable spirit, The Family on Beartown Road takes us on a journey through the remarkable landscape that is family.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Family on Beartown Road|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||The Family on...|
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The Family on Beartown Road
Chapter OneDream Detection
Sometimes at night I lie awake for hours beside my baby daughter, Ava, cupping her head in my hand. Maybe I am imagining, but sometimes I swear I can feel it: I can feel her dreaming. The sensation upon my fingers is less than a vibration but more than stillness. A something-in-between-nothing-and-something, vague but true. I imagine I can feel my daughter's mind becoming.
Touching her head in this way comes naturally to me, an instinctual rather than a conscious act. I do it because I am afraid of our circumstances as winter approaches. And because I understand now how delicate a mind is, the many ways in which it can fail a person.
When I was a child, whenever I felt upset, overwhelmed, unsure of my actions or that my thoughts were racing too fast to catch them, I developed the habit of placing my hand on my forehead. It has a calming effect, as though in doing so I can actually slow my mind down, fully possess it, or redirect its course. Just as I touch my daughter's head, at times when I wake from a particularly vivid dream, I have found myself cupping my own forehead. My hand on my head seems to help me better recall my dreams, as if it is an umbilicus from the sleeping world to waking, a bridge.
Just when I feel my daughter's dreams begin to swirl inside my palms, she often twitches or smiles or mumbles things that are not quite words but that, judging from her expressions, are sometimes serious, sometimes amusing. That is my favorite thing-when she laughs in her sleep. Never at any time-not when I first held her, wet and new, not when I comforted her when she was teething, not even when I fed her by breast-have I felt as...