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Review: That Went Well

February 24, 2009


When Terrell Harris’s younger sister was born, it was a difficult birth for her mother.  The baby’s brain didn’t receive enough oxygen, so Irene was born brain damaged.  The family had Irene tested at the University of Utah and were told that she has an IQ around 57, she will never learn to read and write and that her emotional age is around 3.  Doctors recommended institutionalizing her, but the family refused.  They brought Irene home and life went on.  They tried enrolling her in school, and when that didn’t work, her father formed the Salt Lake County Association for Retarded Children.  The Harris family became very active in the fight for the rights of special need individuals.

Irene’s parents were always concerned about her future and sent her to a school in California for several years, hoping she would become more independent and self-sufficient.  Irene was not happy there.  They brought her home and struggled with deciding how to best care for her.  When their parents passed away, the decisions for Irene’s care fell to Terrell.

That Went Well by Terrell Harris Dougan is the story of Terrell’s life with and without Irene.  It is the story of a family bonded by love and fierce determination.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it was told with love and humor.  Terrell shows how those with special needs impact the lives of their families and their communities.  She is honest about the frustrations, failures and triumphs she has had to face.  I have several friends who have children with special needs and I know they struggle with some of the same decisions Terrell does.  It’s easy to sit back and be judgmental about the choices that are made, but if you read about the way family members, like Terrell, agonize over each of these choices you will have more empathy for them.

Review copy provided by Author Marketing Experts.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2009 7:23 am

    Okay, seriously, I really want to know. Did you take a speed reading course? How do you read a book a day? I’m so envious of your ability!

    I hadn’t heard of this book. It sounds like quite a story! I think I sometimes take my family’s health and good fortune for granted, and forget how really lucky and blessed I am.

  2. February 24, 2009 8:11 am

    Sounds like a moving book! Great review!

  3. February 24, 2009 8:16 am

    The book sounds like it would be very validating for families struggling with these issues. Great review.

  4. February 24, 2009 8:23 am

    Great review. Sounds like good book on an important and difficult topic.

  5. February 24, 2009 9:18 am

    I liked it, but you liked it more. I wished the book had more Irene and less Terrell.
    But still parts were excellent.

  6. February 24, 2009 10:09 am

    So I am to assume this author lives in Utah? Might fight in perfectly with my themed reading challenge to read books by local authors.

  7. stacybuckeye permalink
    February 24, 2009 11:07 am

    This sounds really good. And maybe a good gift?

  8. February 24, 2009 11:08 am

    This sounds like a really moving book, and kudos to author for sharing what must be a tough situation.

  9. February 24, 2009 11:13 am

    I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it would be to raise a child with such limitations and the effect it would have on the other family members as well. Not to mention financial concerns!

  10. February 24, 2009 11:46 am

    I just finished my review of this same book — I’m posting it tomorrow. Like you, I thought this was a worthwhile book filled with humor and honesty. I will link to your review at the end of my review! : )

  11. February 24, 2009 12:31 pm

    This book is close to the top of my TBR pile. I teach beadwork to adults who are in the mental health system. It’ll be interesting to see what life outside my classroom may be like for some of them.

  12. February 24, 2009 12:40 pm

    Great review. I will probably pick this one up at some point because it really looks tempting. Just waiting to get the TBR under control first.

  13. February 24, 2009 3:06 pm

    Sounds like a great story, and I love the cover art!

  14. February 24, 2009 3:12 pm

    I think I will really enjoy this book. I worked with special needs children for several years and I have always thought they were underestimated and that their families were judged. Some of the children I worked with did come from homes that did not care for them as I would have liked, but the majority came from loving, stable homes with families who were just trying to make the best decisions for their child. I think everyone who thinks they know about a special needs child and their family needs to realize they have no idea until they are there.

  15. February 24, 2009 3:54 pm

    As usual….great review, which is why I gave your blog a shout out today and an award 🙂

  16. February 24, 2009 6:26 pm

    A good review of a subject many of us would rather not face. But kudos to the author (and reviewer) for bringing the subject to a arena for better understanding.

  17. February 24, 2009 6:45 pm

    Sounds a bit like the Oprah club pick Jewel by Brett Lott

  18. February 24, 2009 10:16 pm

    Nice review, Kathy. I think the fact that this story is told with humor and love makes it very appealing.

  19. February 25, 2009 3:17 am

    Sounds like a wonderful and insightful book!

  20. thebookzombie permalink
    March 3, 2009 9:31 am

    This looks like an incredibly good read. I’ve always felt in awe of family’s that have and/or take care of individuals with special needs. My great-gram had a daughter born with brain damage, and she couldn’t talk or hear, but at the time she was born the medical community decided she wasn’t handicapped enough to qualify for any therapeutic/medical help. When my great-gram passed away a few years ago, we found that she had set aside for her daughter to live in a very nice assisted living community. Once there she was diagnosed as having Downs Syndrome, was cared for lovingly and she now has much better communicative skills. She has even learned to speak the names of family members, which is thrilling for her and us.

  21. March 4, 2009 7:44 am

    Glad to hear this is a good book. I received a copy, too, and will be reading it in the coming weeks. Thanks for the review!

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