This Lovely Life is so unbiased, so agenda-free that it’s easy to forget that it’s a memoir. It is the story of Vicky Foreman and her experience as the mother of two super-premature babies. After Foreman ordered a “do-not-resuscitate” mandate upon the children’s birth, knowing that the babies would most likely grow into severely disabled children, the hospital refused to comply. Years later, during which Foreman dedicated her life to her children, her son Evan matured into a severely disabled and blind child.
I was sure the story would become political. I was ready for the memoir to morph into a tirade, in which Foreman would blame the hospital for ruining her life and the life of her children. Instead, I continued to read a heartbreakingly honest, realistically ambivalent narrative.
Foreman should be applauded for her undying loyalty to her children, and it was a pleasure to even read her story. She is also equally loyal to the subject itself, so don’t expect any wordy décor or style-heavy writing. She tells the facts, but accessibly so, explaining all medical terms and using them sparingly so as not to overwhelm. And as the product of a well-educated writer, the story flows effortlessly.
This Lovely Life is engaging enough to intrigue anyone even mildly interested in ethics or motherhood or even the medical field (it is often fiercely insightful regarding the doctor-to-patient dynamic). I would also especially recommend it to those who are or have been surrounded by any of these themes.