Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav

The Unfinished Child

Cover of The Unfinished Child

The Unfinished Child

Borrow Borrow

Marie finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at 39. Meanwhile, her best friend, Elizabeth, has never been able to conceive, despite years of fertility treatments. In a genetic test routinely offered to older mothers, Marie discovers that the child she is carrying has Down syndrome. Intertwined throughout the novel is the story of Margaret, a woman who gave birth to a daughter with Down syndrome in 1947, when such infants were considered to be "unfinished" children. As the novel shifts through the decades, the lives of the three women converge, and the story speeds to an unexpected conclusion.

With skill and poise, debut novelist Theresa Shea dramatically explores society's changing views of Down syndrome over the past 60 years. The story offers an unflinching and compassionate history of the treatment of people with Down syndrome and their struggle for basic human rights. Ultimately, The Unfinished Child is an unforgettable and inspiring tale about the mysterious and complex bonds of family, friendship and motherhood.

Marie finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at 39. Meanwhile, her best friend, Elizabeth, has never been able to conceive, despite years of fertility treatments. In a genetic test routinely offered to older mothers, Marie discovers that the child she is carrying has Down syndrome. Intertwined throughout the novel is the story of Margaret, a woman who gave birth to a daughter with Down syndrome in 1947, when such infants were considered to be "unfinished" children. As the novel shifts through the decades, the lives of the three women converge, and the story speeds to an unexpected conclusion.

With skill and poise, debut novelist Theresa Shea dramatically explores society's changing views of Down syndrome over the past 60 years. The story offers an unflinching and compassionate history of the treatment of people with Down syndrome and their struggle for basic human rights. Ultimately, The Unfinished Child is an unforgettable and inspiring tale about the mysterious and complex bonds of family, friendship and motherhood.

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Subjects-
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    2
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you


About the Author-
  • Theresa Shea has published poetry, fiction, essays, reviews and articles in a number of Canadian magazines and journals including Queen's Quarterly, Grain and the Edmonton Journal, and she is a regular contributor to Avenue Magazine (Edmonton). A graduate of McGill and Queen's Universities, she holds a doctorate in English literature from the University of Alberta. Born in Maryland and raised throughout the United States, she now lives in Edmonton. Follow Theresa on Twitter at @sheatheresa.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 4, 2013
    The birth and death of Carolyn Harrington, a girl with Down syndrome, are at the heart of this complex and sensitive debut novel set in Edmonton, Alberta. The medical establishment of 1947 regards baby Carolyn as an "unfinished child" and persuades her parents, Margaret and Donald, to place her in an institution where conditions turn out to be appalling. More than 50 years later, two Edmonton women in their late 30s confront issues that might destroy their lifelong friendship: just as Elizabeth Crewes gives up trying to have a baby after years of treatments for unexplained infertility, Marie MacPherson discovers to her surprise that she is pregnant with her third child, and then, following prenatal testing, that the child has Down syndrome. Shea develops the friendship between Marie and Elizabeth with insight into the competing desires of two women whose perfectionism makes them want to control the size of their families and the shape of their lives. At times, the exposition of the many medical issues Shea addresses in this novel can weigh down the dialogue, particularly in conversations between the women and their husbands. Yet the various strands of the plot come together in a gripping climax, raising compelling questions about moral responsibility in a 21st-century world that offers more choices than were available to the Harringtons decades before.

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Brindle & Glass
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Enhanced Details

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Permissions

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Holds

Total holds:


Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
The Unfinished Child
The Unfinished Child
Theresa Shea
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel