Page critique 7/16/20

Offer up your page (or query) for Nathan's critique on the blog.
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Nathan Bransford
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Page critique 7/16/20

Post by Nathan Bransford » July 13th, 2020, 1:30 pm

Below is the page up for critique on the blog on Thursday. Feel free to chime in with comments, create your own redline (please note the "font colour" button above the posting box, which looks like a drop of ink), and otherwise offer feedback. When offering your feedback, please please remember to be polite and constructive. In order to leave a comment you will need to register an account in the Forums, which should be self-explanatory.

I'll be back later with my own post on the blog and we'll literally be able to compare notes.

If you'd like to enter a page for a future Page Critique, please do so here.

Title: A MILLION WAYS TO MEASURE NORMAL
by Catherine Shields
Genre: Memoir

"Your daughter, Jessica, is profoundly retarded."

Some words you never expect to hear spoken aloud. Whispered words, accompanied by lowered eyes, and the nod of a head became nothing more than the practice of empathy projected, but not understood. Retarded. A doctor spoke those words. The year; 1988.
For twenty-four years, I struggled to navigate an often-unknown land, and solve the mystery of what awaited at the end of my passage.
*
Yesterday the defining moment of my journey manifested itself when I stood in Jessica’s empty bedroom. Everything appeared the same as the day before. The same but different. An assortment of posters hung on the wall above her bed, most of the images, teenage boy bands. In one photo, the boys, arms linked, leaned forward and smiled. For a moment, I imagined they wanted to hear my thoughts. I whispered the words like a quiet secret. “We moved Jessica to a group home today.”
Through the bedroom window, the sway of the palm trees captivated my attention.
Crack. The snap of a frond roused me from my reverie, and I returned to the posters, the ones she asked me to bring. My fingers trembled as I grabbed the edges. I wondered if my heart would crack into a million little pieces like the broken keepsakes she refused to throw away.
I dreaded this for so long.
Our twenty-eight-year-old daughter often followed me around the house and begged the same question.

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