Beautiful Affliction

Beautiful Affliction : A Memoir

3.79 (1,908 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Lene Fogelberg is dying-she is sure of it-but no doctor in Sweden, her home country, believes her. Love stories enfold her, with her husband, her two precious daughters, her enchanting surroundings, but the question she has carried in her heart since childhood-Will I die young?-is threatening all she holds dear, even her sanity. When her young family moves to the US, an answer, a diagnosis, is finally found: she is in the last stages of a fatal congenital heart disease. But is it too late?

A young woman risks everything to save her own life in this "unusual, riveting medical drama crafted with deep emotion and exquisite detail" (BookPage).
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 139 x 215 x 30.48mm | 453.59g
  • United States
  • English
  • 1631529854
  • 9781631529856
  • 1,007,990

Review quote

2016 IPPY Gold Medal Winner in Autobiography/Memoir
2016 International Book Award Finalist in Autobiography/Memoirs
2015 Best Book Awards Finalist in Autobiography/Memoir

"Fogelberg's poetic sensibility shines . . . Vivid, heartfelt, and carefully crafted, this memoir will resonate with readers. Beautiful Affliction is more than an illness narrative; its meditations on mortality will appeal to all who love the fragile and impermanent." -Lucy Bryan, Rain Taxi Review of Books

"Fogelberg, a poet, structures her saga well, writing in alternating chapters about growing up with her 'monster,' and arriving in the United States, where her condition is diagnosed and she has corrective open-heart surgery. Beautiful Affliction is an unusual, riveting medical drama crafted with deep emotion and exquisite detail." -Alice Cary, BookPage

"In Beautiful Affliction, a gorgeously rendered, poetic memoir/medical mystery, we meet Lene Fogelberg, a wife and mother living a fairy tale existence, except for the fact that she knows she is dying and her doctors don't believe her." -Allison Tyler, Off the Shelf

"In her breathtaking memoir, Beautiful Affliction, Lene Fogelberg elegantly unites the savagery and raw beauty of the natural world with the wisdom and poignant insight of a young wife and mother. Exquisite imagery and poetic prose pulse through this powerful, emotionally gripping story. With Beautiful Affliction, Lene Fogelberg gives us a gorgeously written story to savor and share." -Terri Giuliano Long, USA Today best-selling author of In Leah's Wake

"Gripping, powerful, touching, beautiful. A memoir about a woman who fights to remain alive because of her daughters and her husband. A story everyone can relate to and will want to read to the inspiring end." -Mette Ivie Harrison, author of Ironmom and New York Times Notable Book, The Bishop's Wife

"Brilliantly paced, weaving glimpses of the author's past into an ever-tightening noose that engulfs Lene and her young family in adulthood, this memoir left me as breathless as if I'd read a thriller about an unstoppable killer circling its victim. Beautiful Affliction grips the reader and won't let go until the very last page." -Rita M. Gardner, award-winning author of the memoir The Coconut Latitudes

"Beautiful Affliction is an important and beautiful book about the ways in which our health impacts our lives, and the courage, strength, and healing that can result with persistence. A wonderfully honest and sincere memoir." -Laura Pritchett, author of Stars Go Blue and winner of the PEN USA Award

"Heart-rending and suspense-filled, Fogelberg's Beautiful Affliction is a graceful meditation on love, marriage, motherhood, and the quotidian precious moments that make a life with young children. Fogelberg's miraculous story is a gift to readers, both for its exquisite prose and for its humble reminder: Life is short; love deeply." -Laura Nicole Diamond, USA Today best-selling author of Shelter Us

"Beautiful Affliction is a deeply moving and important memoir about a young woman fighting for her life. It's a suspenseful page-turner and also the work of a poet. Fogelberg's breathtaking odyssey will remind the reader of the beauty, fragility, and ephemerality of life. I absolutely love this book. It was an inspiration to read, and it will stay with me for a long time." -Alice Eve Cohen, award-winning author of The Year My Mother Came Back and What I Thought I Knew
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About Lene Fogelberg

Lene Fogelberg is the Wall Street Journal best-selling author of Beautiful Affliction: A Memoir and the newly released YA novel The Lightning Tree. She loves to explore the world and has lived all over the globe-in a small Pennsylvania town, as well as in Germany, Malaysia, and Indonesia. She currently resides in her native Sweden with her family. For more information, please visit
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Rating details

1,908 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 37% (706)
4 30% (564)
3 17% (319)
2 9% (170)
1 8% (149)
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