The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams

The Unwinding of the Miracle

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 ...

Details The Unwinding of the Miracle

TitleThe Unwinding of the Miracle
Release DateJan 8th, 2019
PublisherRandom House
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, Biography Memoir, Medical

Reviews The Unwinding of the Miracle

  • 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 knowing that eventually her illness would lead to her death. Yes, its the circle of life that we all revolve around, but no one expects or wants to die that young! Julie's parents lived in Communist Vietnam. When Julie was born, she had cataracts and her g...
  • 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 five years coming to terms with what death means. Her goal was to embrace the inevitable. She knew her disease would kill her, sooner rather than later. She was heartsick at the thought of leaving her two young daughters motherless. At the same time, ...
  • 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 a memoir about death and dying but that is ultimately, triumphantly, about life and living. I have lived even as I am dying, and therein lies a certain beauty and wonder. As it turned out, I have spent these years unwinding the miracle that has been my life, but on my terms. Julie Yip...
  • 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. The miracle of the title refers to the author's survival and good fortune against all odds, as a baby born blind in Vietnam in the late 1970s, a country impoverished and in disarray. Escape to America, topnotch medical attention, and an Ivy League ...
  • 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 before. Mum was a keen reader, which is no doubt where I get my bookworm tendencies from, and the particular cruelty of her cancer was that it destroyed her language capability early on. Mum could imagine what she wanted to say to us, but the words she sp...
  • Lee Husemann
    Julie Yip-Williams was a 37-year-old with a successful career as a lawyer, married and the mother of two small daughters when she was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. She was born in View Nam to Chinese parents after the war ended. She was born with congenital cataracts and her grandmother wanted the parents to take her to an herbalist for something to make her go to sleep permanently. Luckily, the herbalist said no. They escaped by boat and...
  • 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 “hope industrial complex.” I so admire her honesty, even when it gets dark and brutal. She must have been really amazing.
  • Annabel Pizzata
    This book reminded me a lot of When Breath Becomes Air, which is unsurprising given they are both written by authors with terminal cancer diagnoses and published posthumously. What is surprising is how i failed to connect with this book when i did with When Breath Becomes Air. By all accounts, i should have, given the author and i both have law degrees, and two young daughters. I think perhaps i would have connected more had a heavier hand been a...
  • Shannon Wise
    Julie Yip-Williams should not have been alive at age 37, when she was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. She was born to Chinese parents in Viet Nam, right after the end of the war. She had cataracts that could not be surgically corrected in Viet Nam. Her paternal grandmother sent her parents to Da Nag, to a medicine man, to have Julie killed. The medicine man refused to do it. She ended up immigrating to the United States, where her vision wa...
  • Stephen Yoder
    I don't weep all the time for books but this one got me. Julie was a lovable character, especially because of her relentless honesty. She reminds me a bit of CZ, a friend of mine who died a few years ago of cancer. I think they would have gotten along well.I enjoyed the emotional paths of many of these chapters, especially the one where she mentioned that she hated everyone. Life isn't fair and it is okay to hate here & there.Julie had an amazing...
  • Kathleen Gray
    This is almost too sad- but also too loving- to review. Julie Yip-Williams should not have gotten colon cancer, no she should not have. This woman overcame so much in her life and then was hit with this diagnosis even as she was in a good place with her young family. This is unflinching but it's also thoughtful. There's no poor me here, only clear desire to grow old with her family. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. It's a very good and also humbl...
  • Jennifer
    I started reading this book with the understanding that it would be published after the author died, but I wasn’t prepared for the emotional journey the book took me on. As I read, I experienced wave after wave of emotions, including sadness, joy, surprise, and frustration. And I confess, I laughed and cried while reading this heartwarming and heartbreaking story. In it, Julie Yip-Williams offers a balanced, well-rounded view of her experience ...
  • Jim Gleason
    “I loved it!” What an amazing real-life story, both sad and inspiring. The author writes from her soul, sharing in details only someone who has lived the early life tragedy, followed by accomplished life from nothing to cancer tragedy at a much too young life. As a reader you will be on a roller coaster reading from one chapter to the next, knowing too early on what the final chapter will be like while still holding out that your anticipation...
  • Debbie Smith
    #NetGalley #TheUnwindingOfTheMiracle Publication Date: January 8, 2019This well-written story chronicles the author's struggles with metastatic colon cancer. Julie Yip-Williams was born in Vietnam to Chinese parents. Because she had extremely poor eyesight, her grandmother instructed the parents to do the right thing and end Julie's life. According to Grandmother, a blind baby would be most unhappy and a drag on the family.Though the parents half...
  • Andrea
    More reviews and book-ish content @ Club Book Mobile & Andrea RBKThe Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams was outstanding. This is an emotional read, but worth the journey given the beauty of the writing. This is a memoir (posted posthumously) built around the author's terminal cancer diagnosis at 37. She uses her writing to chronicle the emotions of living with this disease. This includes her relationship with her husband, young daught...
  • Deborah Stevens
    Once upon a time, a blind Vietnamese refugee toddler escaped by boat, languished in a camp in Hong Kong for a year, and then finally made it to the US and had surgery to restore a bit of sight. Through sheer grit she got a full scholarship to Williams College, spent a year in China to learn the Chinese language and her own ethnic heritage, and got into Harvard Law. She established a lucrative NYC career and met her soulmate at her large firm. The...
  • Linda
    Julie’s life seemed almost like a miracle. Born in postwar Vietnam with congenital cataracts, her grandmother wanted her parents to obtain something” that makes the baby sleep forever” since she thought a blind child would be a useless burden. The herbalist refused, great grandmother overruled, and Julie was saved, although she didn’t learn this until she was 28. Another miracle—she and her family joined the boat people leaving Vietnam ...
  • Elizabeth
    First diagnosed in 2013 with Stage VI colon cancer while on holiday in LA to attend her brother's wedding, The Unwinding of the Miracle chronologically follows's the life of Julie Yip-Williams, originally born in Vietnam to Chinese parents Julie had an unconventional start to life as her family feared how her future would be affected by her very poor eye-site. Its not spoilers to mention Julie passed away five years after her diagnosis and this b...
  • Julie Williams
    The Unwinding of the MiracleBy Julie Yip-WilliamsI must start by saying that it was the shared author’s surname, almost, that caught my eye when it appeared on Net Galley but after reading the description I discovered that this story is one that I know I will be eager to read.Born blind in Vietnam Julie’s life is destined to be a struggle. Following her Grandmother’s order her parents take Julie to a herbalist to end her life. Fortunately t...
  • Cari
    This book. Whew. It just gutted me. I've been trying to figure out why I'm so into memoirs about death and dying, and I think with this book, I finally figured it out. Julie Yip-Williams holds nothing back. As a child, she almost died when her grandmother told her parents that she would be better off dead due to the cataracts in her eyes. But she survived a boat from Vietnam to America, got the help she needed, and got some sight back. She became...
  • Sharon May
    Many thanks to NetGalley, Random House, and the author's family for the opportunity to read and review this book. 4.5 stars.In her late 30s, Julie Yip-Williams, was diagnosed with Stage IV colorectal cancer. She was a successful attorney, happily married with two small children. But this wasn't the first time Julie had faced death. She was born in Vietnam to Chinese parents at a time of civil unrest. She was born blind with severe cataracts and h...
  • dori
    Thank you, Netgalley, for the opportunity to read this book in exhange for an honest review. Given the subject matter, I feel terrible even writing this review - they say one should never speak unkindly of the dead. That's not what I wish to do here, anyway - I simply want to warn the living.Unless you are greatly helped by reading any and all cancer memoirs, you can skip this one. My eyes were glazed over by the prologue. I stuck it out into cha...
  • Janilyn Kocher
    This book is a sobering, depressing, yet powerful testament to the author's experience with colon cancer. She tried every conceivable approach to beat it, but invariably it won. Yip- Williams is brutally honest, frank, and blunt with her experiences, emotions, breakdowns, and struggles. That's the most powerful part of her memoir. I loved reading about her personal history and her family's story. I hated reading about all her tests, procedures, a...
  • Helen
    Julie Yip-Williams considered birth to be a Miracle and so her death was the unwinding of her birth. Julie was only thirty seven years old when she was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. Julie was a successful lawyer, a wife and the mother of two little girls. This is her very honest journal of her struggles with the physical and emotional trials of living with and fighting cancer. She is an exceptional writer and I felt a deep connection wi...
  • Katherine
    What an amazing book! I cannot stop thinking about this and it has taken me a couple of days to put into words the impact this had on me. Part memoir, part biography, part love letter to her family, and part guide to living with integrity to the end. I read this in one day--could not put it down! It was sometimes very sad, always poignant and I even laughed at parts. Ms Yip-Williams has a strong voice which comes out loud and clear throughout thi...
  • Anitajt
    A true story of an amazing journey of survival as a baby born blind in Vietnam and then a devastating cancer diagnosis. The author guides us through her life story, it’s emotional yet uplifting, she is so honest and manages to draw you in, which is why it’s so unputdownable. A must read for all Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
  • Shelley
    This is a hard book to read--we are only reading it because the author has died. It is frank and important, in the way death is faced. There are faults (repetition, the "slutty second wife" thing) but it's not as if the author had time to go back and smooth it out. (I feel tacky just pointing that out.)
  • Patti
    I gave this book 4 stars. It was an inspiring story written by a mother to her husband and children about her journey through cancer. I thought that while it was touching, it was repetitive at times with unnecessary details. Her husband stepped out if his comfort zone and wrote the epilogue after her death.
  • Jenifer Greenwell
    DNF - for now. I was reading this book in small bits so I would not become overwhelmed with sadness. Beautifully written, but just not the book for me at this time. I plan to finish this at a time when I am more able to handle it. Thank you to Random House and Goodreads for providing me an ARC of this book through a giveaway. I will be back to complete my review when I finish it.