The Sound of a Miracle Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Sound of a Miracle

"The Sound of a Miracle" focuses on author Stehli's relationships with her two daughters: Georgie, who is autistic, and Dotsie, who has leukemia, and her attempts to get effective treatments for both of them. Past attitudes toward autism are both shocking and interesting, usually blaming the mother for her ineffective parenting skills, and often demanding that autistic children be institutionalized. At one point in the book, Stehli is grocery shopping and reaches into her somewhat messy tote bag for her wallet. She is then reprimanded by a woman she barely knows, who implies that Stehli's own disorganization is responsible for her autistic daughter's problems. Sadly, such comments seemed to be typical, and the first half of the book shows Stehli's attempts to work through her grief, depression and guilt while the world around her continues to place the blame firmly in her corner. During this time, Stehli's marriage crumbles, her daughter Dotsie dies, and Georgie is placed in an instituion.
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Eventually, Stehli remarries and she and her new husband travel to Europe, taking Geogie with them. It is there that Georgie undergoes auditory therapy, which apparently completely cures Georgie of all her autistic behaviors. At this point, the book switches gears and Stehli writes of her happy marriage and of Georgie's accomplishments, ending on a note of happiness and hope.

The review of this Book prepared by E. J. McDonald

Chapter Analysis of The Sound of a Miracle

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Plot & Themes

Family, ill    -   Yes Who?    -   Daughter because he/she is    -   mentally ill Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally Ill


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () United States    -   Yes Europe    -   Yes Century:    -   1960's-1970's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   concerned Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None How much dialogue in bio?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   26-50% of book

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Annabel Stehli Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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