Sep 17, 2011

The Oak Leaves by Maureen Lang

Two time periods--Regency England and contemporary Chicago--are woven together when Talie Ingram finds an old journal belonging to her great-great-great grandmother, Cosima Escott. Through Cosima's entries, Talie learns that her family was once considered cursed with feebleminded offspring, the result of a genetic disorder (Fragile-X) that may have been passed down to Talie and her sister. Unwilling to face the implications their discovery might have on her own life, Talie tucks the journal back into secrecy, until she begins to see signs of developmental delay in her son.

Back Cover Copy - Talie Ingram has an ideal life: a successful, devoted husband; a beautiful one-year-old son; and another child on the way. But her world is shattered when she discovers a shocking family secret in the nineteenth-century journal of one of her ancestors, Cosima Escott. Only in reading Cosima’s words can Talie make peace with the legacy she’s inherited and the one she’s passed on to her son.

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Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (April 12, 2007)
ISBN-13: 978-1414313450

At the time of this posting, The Oak Leaves is available as a free download from

Anyone faced with a serious diagnosis is devastated, but it is even more difficult when the diagnosis is for a young child. In this book, the author puts a piece of her own personal life into the story, as she brings attention to Fragile X syndrome.

Two separate stories are woven together in The Oak Leaves, 150 years apart. The story of Cosima and her family is fascinating, and it shows the limited knowledge that society had about the "feeble-minded" as they were called. The intolerance and even fear of this unknown syndrome was difficult, but the extreme reactions of some people was heart breaking.

Many generations later, Talie and Luke know that something is wrong with their son Ben. He isn't developing at the rate of other babies in their circle of friends. It is only when they discover an old family journal that the pieces start to fit together.

For a fascinating read that will enlighten you about Fragile X and will also pull at your heartstrings, I highly recommend The Oak Leaves.

Disclosure: Ebook received through I was not compensated for my thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. I just downloaded this book on Thursday. Thanks for the review! :)