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What happens when love is no longer enough? Jane Bernstein thought that learning to accept her daughter\u2019s disabilities meant her struggles were over. But as Rachel grew up and needed more than a parent\u2019s devotion, both mother and daughter were confronted with formidable obstacles. Rachel in the World, which begins in Rachel\u2019s fifth year and ends when she turns twenty-two, tells of their barriers and successes with the same honesty and humor that made Loving Rachel, Bernstein\u2019s first memoir, a classic in its field. The linked accounts in part 1 center on family issues, social services, experiences with caregivers, and Rachel herself--difficult, charming, hard to fathom, eager for her own independence. The second part of the book chronicles Bernstein\u2019s attempt to find Rachel housing at a time when over 200,000 Americans with mental retardation were on waiting lists for residential services. As Rachel prepares to leave her mother\u2019s constant protection, Bernstein invites the reader to share the frustrations and unexpected pleasures of finding a place for her daughter, first in her family, and then in the world.
Jane Bernstein, a professor of English and creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University, is the author of Loving Rachel: A Family's Journey from Grief, Bereft--A Sister's Story, and other books. For more, visit www.janebernstein.net.