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Madeleine Witham . ISBN 9781921589065 . Price

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The story of "Ella" is revealed through the eyes of her mother who, at the age of 28, found herself having unexpectedly given birth to a child with an intellectual disability. It is also the story of Ella's first 14 years of life; a feisty, courageous little girl with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome who is aware of her difference and who holds precious the simple gift of her hands.

The narrative Madeleine Witham constructs has an almost confrontational honesty and rawness about it. But the experience of mothering Ella has the effect of making Madeleine a fighter and an advocate for her child as she realises that she is a survivor of a masked and prolonged trauma. "Ella"

gives a rare insight into humanity, and reveals our capacity for resilience and the deep and rare gift of unconditional love that Madeleine has given to her daughter. Over time there is a quiet acceptance and recognition that Ella's future, whatever it holds, is also her mother's future and that is how it will and must be.

This book gives great insight into Madeleine’s spiritual journey and how she comes to see and accept the gift of life and hope offered to her by Jesus Christ. Through this growing knowledge a hope for the future is born, along with a faithful acceptance of the child that God has entrusted to her. The grace of God has become a reality in Madeleine’s life and the certainty that God will provide new mercies every day is what gives her strength and hope to face the fear that once crippled her.

It is compulsory and powerful reading and there are deep lessons in this book for every person who joins the journey and life of Ella and Madeleine.

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