The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After

The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After

As a young mother facing a terminal diagnosis, Julie Yip-Williams began to write her story, a story like no other. What began as the chronicle of an imminent and early death became something much more--a powerful exhortation to the living.

That Julie Yip-Williams survived infancy was a miracle. Born blind in Vietnam, she narrowly escaped euthanasia at the hands of her grandmother, only to flee with her family the political upheaval of her country in the late 1970s. Loaded into a rickety boat with three hundred other refugees, Julie made it to Hong Kong and, ultimately, America, where a surgeon at UCLA gave her partial sight. She would go on to become a Harvard-educated lawyer, with a husband, a family, and a life she had once assumed would be impossible. Then, at age thirty-seven, with two little girls at home, Julie was diagnosed with terminal metastatic colon cancer, and a different journey began.

The Unwinding of the Miracle is the story of a vigorous life refracted through the prism of imminent death. When she was first diagnosed, Julie Yip-Williams sought clarity and guidance through the experience and, finding none, began to write her way through it--a chronicle that grew beyond her imagining. Motherhood, marriage, the immigrant experience, ambition, love, wanderlust, tennis, fortune-tellers, grief, reincarnation, jealousy, comfort, pain, the marvel of the body in full rebellion--this book is as sprawling and majestic as the life it records. It is inspiring and instructive, delightful and shattering. It is a book of indelible moments, seared deep--an incomparable guide to living vividly by facing hard truths consciously.

With humor, bracing honesty, and the cleansing power of well-deployed anger, Julie Yip-Williams set the stage for her lasting legacy and one final miracle: the story of her life.

Title:The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After
ISBN:9780525511359

    The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After Reviews

  • erica

    In the vein of Until I Say Goodbye: A Book about Living, When Breath Becomes Air, and The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying, The Unwinding of the Miracle is an incredibly personal memoir about...

  • Louise Wilson

    Julie Yip-Williams was just thirty seven years old when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Married, with two young daughters and with a career in law, she spent five years coming to terms and knowin...

  • Stephanie Borders

    Julie Yip-Williams was only 37 when she was diagnosed with the colon cancer that would eventually kill her. Married, with a burgeoning law career and two young daughters, Yip-Williams spent the next f...

  • Liz

    Heartbreaking doesn't begin to describe the emotional territory navigated in this memoir of the life, illness and death of a vibrant young mother stricken with metastatic colon cancer at the age of 37...

  • Kirsten

    Julie was a friend of a friend; I never met her.This is dark and intense. I had to read it in little chunks, so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed. I especially liked her attacks on what she called the “h...

  • Shirley Freeman

    I loved this beautiful and compelling memoir of living with and dying from colon cancer. Julie Yip-Williams packed a lot of living into her too-short life. She didn't mince words when writing about th...

  • Val Robson

    Julie Yip-Williams has a very interesting story to tell in the 37 years before her colon cancer diagnosis in 2013 but this story is rarely mentioned as the book concentrates on the tests, treatments, ...

  • Susan Hampson

    The story opens with a harrowing statement from Julie Yip-Williams and I was in tears, something that would continue to happen throughout this book. Each chapter an honest account of 5 years of her li...

  • Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)

    See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary FlitsMy Mum died from lung cancer in 2013. The first we knew that she had the disease was the diagnosis of a brain tumour about a year and a half befor...

  • Candice Lee

    I feel bad writing this review as I don’t wish to speak I’ll of the dead, but this memoir was painful for me to get through. While I can appreciate the value it holds for individuals in similar si...