On 18 January 2012, Elise Schwarz received a phone call that threatened to tear her world to pieces: â€˜Thereâ€™s something wrong with Evan. Heâ€™s turning blue,â€™ her babysitter screamed down the line.
Read alsoThe New Day of the Spirit
I say, the established title, "The Acts," is limiting, and, to some extent, misleading for this reason - that it puts all the emphasis upon activity, and in so doing obscures the nature of the activity, the real character of what had been brought in, the very essence of things; that is, it very largely obscures the fact that this new dispensation…
When Evan was born Elise felt her life was complete. She had her own New York apartment, a brilliant career as a litigator and a beautiful baby boy. But all that was thrown into turmoil when her only child was found to be the victim of shaken baby syndrome. All evidence pointed to the babysitter, with whom Elise had entrusted Evanâ€™s care.
In the agonising weeks and months that follow, she finds herself taking on both the New York authorities, who at first prevent her from taking charge of her own child, and a medical establishment that seems anxious to terminate Evanâ€™s prospects as swiftly as possible. But this single gay mother, with a great support network of friends and family around her, had the resilience to fight like a tigress for her son in order to prevent his short life being extinguished prematurely.
Faced with a nightmarish mix of emotions and a roller coaster of conflicting advice and agonising decision making, Elise emerges a Mother Courage, prepared to go to any lengths for her son. This moving and compelling account, told in diary form, is a testament to a motherâ€™s unbending love and above all unflinching belief in her child.