Juncture at the Still Point
Reviewed By: The Editorial Board
The Editorial Board of The Columbia Review accepts submissions from authors, publishers, directors, agents, producers and fans.

“Juncture at the Still Point” by Sandra Jung Hall is a nonfiction memoir of grief, hope, and the healing powers of spirituality and literature. The book will appeal to readers who have personally experienced grief, medical challenges, the disability of a child, or who have an interest in healing through literature and spirituality.

“Juncture at the Still Point” presents a mother’s true account of the devastation of her 3-month old infant daughter’s terminal diagnosis: Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the most common fatal disease of infants. The book shares the experiences and emotions of the parents as they learn that their child will likely lose all ability to move, then to swallow, then to breathe, and will be expected to die within about one year of the diagnosis.

“The first night at the hospital Rick and I tried to sleep on the hard, fold-out couch while the nurses enjoyed what sounded like a pajama party…. In the middle of that night I found myself wailing like an animal, a howl that was surely heard throughout the hospital floor.”

We follow the family’s desperate attempts to get their child involved in a clinical trial, and we experience all of the unknowns and the emotion roller coaster they experienced during this extremely challenging time.

“I was already glad we had decided to try the clinical trial. Whatever happened to Heidi, whether or not the drug helped to extend her life, her quality of life had improved. It was definitely worth it to see her moving … able to breathe and swallow reasonably well. This conviction had come to me within weeks of her receiving her first dose of the drug.”

Hall’s gripping memoir tackles the important and difficult issues of a medical disability and the challenges of the medical system, drug therapies, and clinical trials. The book will inspire readers to contemplate their own experiences with grief, growth, and grace. Sandra Jung Hall has written a thoughtful and emotional true story that takes the reader along on her family’s journey of hope through an incredible era of advancements in treatments for rare genetic diseases. Highly recommended!