Only Child

Recently, the book Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo, edited by Deborah Siegel and Daphne Uviller, arrived in my mailbox.  I had heard a bit about this through the DC Metro Moms Blog, but I hadn’t responded, so I’m not sure how exactly it arrived in the mail.

But I like it.

A collection of stories from adults who grew up as only children, or were born only children, or grew up part of the time as an only child sounds like an odd read, but it’s actually pretty darn good.  Some of the writings read like (very well-developed) blog posts, but some are intricate musings on the nature of being an only child and how that changed defined the author’s life.

An interesting way to look at things.

The story that caught my attention, and my heart, was, “Becoming an Only Child,” by Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn.  In this, she talks about the life and death of her beloved older brother, and how it changed her, how she lived between two worlds grrowing up, and how neither seemed a perfect fit.  It’s sad, oh, it’s sad, but this is a beautiful read, and because of this one story, I can say that I enjoyed the book.

Edited to add: Ms. DeVita-Raeburn has since published her own book, The Empty Room: Understanding Sibling Loss.  I have not read it, but if it’s written anything like her short story in the previous book, it is likely to be sensitive, compelling, and real. 

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