Books about motherhood have recently become a literary genre of their own. They not only discuss what it means to be a mother—and to mother—but they have created space in literature where motherhood, in all its varying shapes and forms, can be explored in depth. Tarah Schwartz’s upcoming memoir, Can’t Help Falling: A Long Road to Motherhood, is about one woman’s perilous journey toward motherhood—toward mothering her son.
Tarah Schwartz, living in Montreal, is a successful reporter and news anchor for CTV Television when she and her husband, Enrico, try to have a baby. Relieved to be pregnant, Tarah is confident of what this pregnancy will bring. “There was a sublime future drawn and coloured inside my head that included this baby. I was convinced there was no other possibility.” When her pregnancy ends in a devastating miscarriage at five months, Tarah tumbles into a grief that pierces the reader’s heart like a knife.
“I collapsed. I screamed louder than anything I had ever heard come out of my mouth. I was terrified. The suffering was so intense it cut through my body like razors. It unleashed a fury so quick and powerful I did not think my body could bear it.”
Even in the face of devastating loss, hope remains for Tarah and Enrico. Seeping through each dark moment of Tarah’s story like a glimmer of light, hope persists, pulsing like a heartbeat with its own will to survive. It remains despite the difficult IVF attempts, the subsequent miscarriages, and it grows in strength when Tarah and Enrico decide to forgo another attempt at conceiving a baby and they turn their efforts toward adopting their child.
“Adoption meant letting go of what we thought life would be and opening up to what it could be.”
Tarah’s own story is interspersed with those from her time spent as a reporter in Montreal. Threaded between her painful experiences, are stories of teenagers who are critically ill seeking a life-affirming adventure, a boy who is tragically lost to a frozen river, and a father whose son dies while performing a training exercise as a firefighter. Each story enriches Tarah’s own, and by planting herself in the middle of other people’s pain, we can see hers more clearly.
Written with elegant prose and vulnerability, we follow Tarah through the complicated, lengthy, and grief-stricken path toward adoption where Tarah finally lands in South Korea to meet her son for the first time. Adoption begins with loss, and she reminds us of that when her young son, without words, expresses torrential grief that breaks both of their hearts, and bonds them tightly together.
For those who have experienced the type of loss Tarah Schwartz writes about, her words will feel like an echo, a reverberation of understanding and compassion. It is a reminder that letting go of control in life is an act of faith, and that happy endings do exist even if they take shape of things we may have never considered. Wondrously hopeful and beautifully written, Can’t Help Falling is a warm addition to the books that aim to remind mothers that we are not alone in our grief, our hope, and our longing for the child we already love in our hearts.
About the Author
Tarah spent more than 20 years as a reporter and news anchor for CTV Television. She has won four Canadian journalism awards and been named a woman of influence by Na’amat Canada. She is currently the Director of Communications at Montreal’s MUHC Foundation where she works to raise awareness about the value of philanthropy. Tarah was born and raised in Montreal where she lives with her husband Enrico, their son Sam and cat Milo.
- Publisher : Linda Leith Publishing (April 15 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 170 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1773901087
- ISBN-13 : 978-1773901084
Joanne Gallant is a pediatric nurse and writer. She has a biology degree from Mount Allison University and a nursing degree from the University of Alberta. Her debut book, A Womb in the Shape of a Heart, will be published by Nimbus Publishing in September 2021. She lives in Halifax with her husband and son.