Reviewed by Sarah Rollins for Readers' Favorite
Rachel McGrath's memoir, Embracing the Storm, is possibly one of the best non-fiction books I've ever read. Her style, transparency, openness and storytelling pull you deep into this heart-wrenching account of her battle against her body to conceive and carry a baby to full term. This is the follow up book to her original memoir, Finding the Rainbow, but as a reader, she introduces you quickly to where she is on her journey and her past history and struggles with pregnancy loss. I didn't feel as though I was lacking any information, and in fact I felt pulled into her plight from the very first chapter. I enjoyed the chapter titles which are themed appropriately to the title and her feelings (using weather conditions as an appropriate analogy along her journey). Each chapter had me holding my breath in anticipation, as I hoped for Rachel's luck to turn, and for her journey to offer some good news.
What I loved most about Embracing the Storm was that I felt like Rachel was talking directly to me, that I was feeling every part of her story as if I were there, as if I were in her shoes. I felt her strength, her courage, her disappointment and her frustrations at every angle. The mark of an excellent memoir is the way the storyteller brings you into what is a real life situation, and I couldn't fault Rachel's writing style throughout the entire book. At the end of each chapter I was left wanting to know what would happen next, as if I were reading a suspense novel. She personalises this story with ease, and yet not once does she use names or specific details of hospitals or practitioners. I am in awe of this book, Rachel's journey and, without giving away the ending, her determination and hope for her rainbow baby. This book deserves every one of its five stars and more. Every mother, mother-to-be, or those looking to support friends and family on their conception journey should read this story, if only to appreciate that infertility struggles are real and to understand the emotional and physical journey that is entailed when one person struggles to become a mother.