National Book Review: 5 Hot Books – Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon

Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon by Kelley and Thomas French (Little Brown)

Their baby girl weighed 570 grams — the equivalent of $2.28 in pennies, a bottle of Gatorade, a woman’s left lung, or a raw bone-in rib eye.  The Frenches include these sorts of vivid details in this account of their daughter’s battle to survive as a micro-preemie who spent much of her first year in a neonatal intensive care unit. The authors, who are Pulitzer Prize-recognized  journalists (he was a winner, she was a finalist) handle the science of neonatology and the ethical questions surrounding it with equal aplomb. This tender account is vividly rendered, with husband and wife writing alternating chapters, so the story is told from different perspectives, and in distinct voices, but with a shared energy and urgency.