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Ellen Gable Hrkach reviews Megan Nix's memoir about a little-known infection that can affect pregnant mothers and their unborn children.

Remedies for Sorrow: An Extraordinary Child, a Secret Kept from Pregnant Women, and a Mother's Pursuit of the Truth
 by Megan Nix

After a seemingly uneventful pregnancy, Megan Nix’s second daughter, Anna, was born very small and profoundly deaf. Megan and her husband, Luke, learned that Anna could have lifelong delays due to an infection from a virus they had never heard of: cytomegalovirus, or CMV, which Megan had unwittingly contracted from her toddler during pregnancy. 

Remedies for Sorrow unfolds across the dramatic landscape of Sitka, Alaska, where Luke makes his living as a salmon fisherman. There, Megan struggles to meet Anna’s needs and dives deeper into the mystery of why no one—not her OBGYN, not her toddler’s pediatrician—had mentioned CMV, despite the staggering cost of this silence to families and children like Anna. From this rugged and beautiful place comes a memoir about the boundless capacity of mothers, the extraordinary child that is Anna, and the lifesaving power of truth. 


As the mother of five sons (now adults) and three grandchildren, I found Remedies for Sorrow a compelling story of one mother’s search for answers as to why she had not been warned of the possibility of this disease. Like the author, I had never heard of CMV, but years ago, I was pregnant while several of my other children were toddlers.  

At points, this book is heartbreaking but also filled with the love and joy the author has for her daughter and for all children. The book is well-written and personal and will hopefully bring awareness of CMV and the disastrous effects it can have on an unborn child.  

I highly recommend this beautiful memoir. 



Copyright 2024 Ellen Gable Hrkach
Images: (top) detail from book cover; (bottom) Canva