". . . Mandel explores how a freak accident altered the fate of her family. . . By cleverly shifting between recent years and the day of the crash, Mandel weaves together chapters of real and imagined scenes building to the inevitable . . .
The book grapples with the random forces that shape modern life. The parents who survive and overcome the death of a child emerge as true heroes . . .” Read more here.
"The unthinkable happens every day. But it’s not every day that a writer turns it into art. Judy L. Mandel deconstructs the anatomy of a horrendous accident and how it transformed her family. Mandel’s sharp reporting skills make this much more than a memoir.” Read more here.
Kirkus Reviews calls Replacement Child “. . . dramatic and resonant.”
“Judy Mandel has transformed her story into a riveting work that touches on the dynamics of all troubled families. She offers an in-depth look at what it means to grow up a replacement child, an issue never before addressed in memoir, while lifting the veil on the secret nature of grief and the far-reaching effects of tragedy. Her stark honesty and gripping prose make this book a page-turner, with all the tension of a well-crafted novel.” — Kaylie Jones, author of Lies My Mother Never Told Me
“Mandel’s memoir is as riveting and gut wrenching as any piece of thriller fiction I’ve read. Once I started, I couldn’t put this book down until I reached what I knew would be the inevitable unavoidable disaster that had been the reason for the author’s existence.” Wendy Thomas, Bookpleasures.com – Download the full review here.
“I am not sure that I have read a book like this before. Her story…is a very unique one, and one that I found captivating.” Simon Barrett, Blogger News Network – Download the full review here.
“This book really takes you on a journey of one persons struggle to examine who they are and where they came from.” The Social Frog.com – Download the full review here.
“This was a very powerful memoir… I would definitely recommend picking this one up.” Raging Bibliomania.net – Download the full review here.
“This touching tale of healing and understanding explores the sometimes unconscious expectations of love…” Hartford Magazine – Download the full review here.
“How does it feel when you find out you’re a replacement? “Replacement Child” is the poignant reflections of Judy Mandel as she reflects on her parent’s tragedy before she was born, drawing on wisdom she gains as a daughter who turned into a mother herself. A touching story any parent will relate to when they have to make tough choices about their children and live their lives full of regret. “Replacement Child” is touching and is a memoir that should not be overlooked by grieving parents.” Midwest Book Review , Bookwatch
"Judy Mandel… uses the fire from which she was born, to forge a brave, self-revelatory quest toward truth and understanding.” Tracy Kauffman-Wood, Women’s Memoirs, Book Raves – Download the full review here.