Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Up Close: A Mother's View

I have a slightly different blog post today, but one that I’m quite excited about. Carole Kitchel Bellew of Bunker Hill Publishing was kind enough to send me a copy of a beautiful new book, Up Close: A Mother’s View, by Fiona Yaron-Field, to review here. I’m definitely not much of a book reviewer, but I can certainly share my thoughts. The world of a new parent of a child with Down syndrome is filled with so many questions, so much searching for the answers about what our child will be like as he or she grows up, how our child will be accepted by his or her peers. Fiona Yaron-Field uses words carefully and sparingly, as poetic accompaniment to striking photographs of her daughter, Ophir, during the first twelve years of her life. Up Close: A Mother’s View is both uplifting and poignant with humorous moments at times, and it gave me the feeling of looking into Samantha’s future and seeing a very full and enjoyable childhood, not that much different from my own. I am now also inspired to try to become a better photographer (either I need a new camera, or I need to re-discover the portrait setting on the one I have, and start cleaning up some of the background noise in my shots…).

I think you would all enjoy this book, and know your coffee tables would thank you. Feel free to post some of this information on your blogs or listserves to let others know about it, too! Up Close: A Mother’s View is hardcover with 144 pages, including 55 photographs (mostly full-page), and retails for $35.00.

Below is an excerpt from the press release, followed by some of the advance praise for the book:

Up Close: A Mother’s View is an extraordinary book of the life of a child with Down Syndrome. With some 50 photographs taken over the first 13 years of her daughter Ophir’s life, and a meditative thoughtful text, Fiona Yaron-Field conveys her moods, reactions, impulses and emotions as a mother. It is a work of great tenderness by a mother about her daughter, about their life together; together and apart, in intimate moments caught silently by the camera, from birth to adolescence.

Her clear lucid words frame the affectionate and unflinching focus of the camera on her her growing daughter’s feelings, attitudes and strong personality.
Their story is emblematic, true of so many mothers and daughters facing the same challenges the world over. It is a story of inspiration and empathy, told in words and photographs of great emotional impact and vision.

"This is a very moving and beautiful piece of work. I find these images and words extremely emotional and full of feeling. Up Close: A Mother's View is just a wonderful book."
Dame Helen Mirren, DBE

A mother, a daughter; ordinary worries, extraordinary worries; ordinary love, extraordinary love. The words and pictures that grace Fiona Yaron-Field's magnificent portrait of her daughter give us a privileged view into one mother's fierce caring and joy for her little girl. And through it we are warmed and reminded of the magnificence of life.
Susie Orbach (author of Fat is a Feminist Issue)

Fiona has been incredibly honest about her feelings towards Ophir in a way that most of us would never have the courage to do. She has managed to capture some amazing images that help the reader to understand something about the bond that exists between them. A fantastic read!
Carol Boys, Director-Down’s Syndrome Assoc.-UK


Carol N. said...

Your review was excellent, Rebecca! I'm looking forward to seeing this book for myself now!

My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce, Sarah's mom. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this book. I look forward to reading it.

Jeanette said...

It sounds wonderful. I am going to try and get my hands on a copy.

Monica said...

I will have to check this book out, I hadn't heard of it. And I'm totally serious here, but I've always been impressed with your photographs!!!