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Expecting Sunshine tells the story of a mother, Alexis Marie Chute, who set out to rediscover her identity – not only as a parent but as a woman and artist – after her son Zachary died in her arms at birth. The memoir’s clever structure mirrors the gestation of Alexis Marie’s subsequent pregnancy; the book beginning with conception followed by three sections, the three trimesters.
Through powerful flashbacks, readers learn of Alexis Marie’s pregnancy with Zachary and his few moments in the world, witnessing how grief touches every aspect of family life, though in different ways.
Expecting Sunshine chronicles the struggles and stresses of Alexis Marie’s next pregnancy. She is on a mission to find healing just in time to welcome her next child, yet even imagining giving birth to a baby that lives proves a major roadblock. Along the way, Alexis Marie grapples with her strained marriage, a silent faith, and medical decisions with huge ramifications.
Exploring this universal yet taboo type of loss, Chute’s memoir meets the need for personal narrative that addresses the most intimate vulnerabilities of grief and the agony and guilt any mother feels when she cannot fulfill her one most crucial role: to protect her child. Readers will cheer-on Alexis Marie in her clumsy yet noble search for healing, which will be a balm and encouragement for anyone struggling with loss.