Even in the face of tragedy you can choose how to live. BREATH TAKING

On March 11, 2022

my daughter Dalia took her last breath.

But that's not what this story is about.

This is the oldest story in the world, and it's one you've never heard before.

This is a love story.

"A story of relentless heartbreak met with wit, strength, and resilience." --ELLE Magazine

" A master class in how to be a person." --Joanna Rakoff, author of My Salinger Year

"The guide star so many seek when life hands them more than they ever imagined they could endure." --Daniel DeFabio, The Disorder Channel

At the age of five Jessica Fein’s daughter Dalia was diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease that would claim her life at 17. Before that moment came, and inspired by Dalia’s own insuppressible zest for life, Fein and her family would discover how to live in the present when the future can’t be fixed. In this heartfelt yet clear-eyed memoir, Fein maps both her journey to becoming an adoptive mom and the roller coaster ride of loving and caring for a terminally ill child, persevering when the simple act of taking a breath can become an act of courage. Through it all, she discovers the need to be both relentless advocate and calm presence, to show vulnerability as well as strength, and to allow joy to be louder than sorrow.

Psychology Today contributor and former Boston Globe columnist Jessica Fein has created a wrenching yet unsentimental memoir about choosing everyday joy in the face of heartbreak that can't be fixed.

"Astonishing--one of the most moving memoirs I have read." --Caroline Leavitt, bestselling author of With or Without You and the forthcoming Days of Wonder.


  • Title: BREATH TAKING-A Memoir of Family, Dreams, and Broken Genes
  • Author: Jessica Fein
  • Publisher: Behrman House
  • Publication Date: May 7, 2024
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Retail Price: $26.95
  • ISBN: 978-168115-110-6


Jessica Fein, a former op-ed columnist for the Boston Globe, is a seasoned media contributor with forums including HuffPost, The Mighty, Psychology Today, Zibby Mag, and Kveller. She balances writing, podcasting, motherhood, and advocacy with her work as a senior marketing executive at a global multi-billion dollar education company. She serves on the board of MitoAction, the Mitochondrial disease action committee. Jessica and her family live in Framingham, Massachusetts.






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