Judy L. Mandel was born into a family crippled by grief. But it would be years before she would discover the shocking circumstances of their loss.
Replacement Child tells the true story of a horrifying accident: A plane crashes into a family’s home, leaving one daughter severely burned and another dead. The death of the child leaves a hole in the family that threatens to tear it apart. In an attempt to fill the painful gap, the parents give birth to a “replacement child.”
In this powerful story of love and lies, family and hope, Judy L. Mandel tells the story of being the child brought into the world to provide “a salve for the burns.” As a child, she unwittingly rides the deep and hidden currents of her family’s grief—until her discovery of this family secret, years later, changes her life forever, forcing her to confront the complex layers of her relationships with her father, mother, and sister.
I just finished reading this book and I must say I am blown away towards the end of the story. You see, I have never considered myself a replacement child, until reading this story. I was adopted after my mother gave birth to two kids and had about a dozen miscarriages. Unfortunately, my story did not have a happy ending. She had mental issues, combined with all the miscarriages and instead of loving me, she abused me until I ran away at 15. Believe it or not, I saw myself on these pages, when the author wrote about her father and her failed relationships. I even bookmarked a few spots where I felt the author was describing my current relationship. Needless to say, i found something unexpected on these pages, and I thank the author for bringing me to that place.
As for the book itself, I have to say that I felt a great love in the author; having walked a similar path even in childhood (feelings were similar while situations were different), it was nice to find that connection with the author. I am thankful for her story for sharing her story,