Review & Giveaway: When Pig’s Fly by Gretchen Cooke & Jennifer Cooke Rinehart

Title: When Pig’s Fly

Author: Gretchen Cooke & Jennifer Cooke Reinhart

Published: October 2010

Synopsis: WHEN PIGS FLY is the story of the ‘exceptional journey’ of a young woman fighting for her life. It is a story of hope, determination, tears, love, and laughter and will serve as inspiration to many. It is impossible to speculate how another individual would respond to the same circumstances, but she managed it with grace and aplomb.

Status: Read on July 18, 2011 — I own a copy   {provided by the author}

My Thoughts:

Jennifer was born with biliary atresia, a congenital birth defect, where the bile ducts do not develop normally or are blocked. This results in the inability of sufferers to extract sufficient nutrients from their food and causes liver damage due to the fluid build up. In 1972, when Jennifer was born, it was virtually a death sentence and Gretchen and her husband were told their daughter’s life expectancy was only eighteen months. Unable to accept the devastating news, Gretchen agreed to let the surgeons try a new technique. A stoma that allowed the bile to drain from the liver to an external receptacle was fashioned in the hope that it would drastically reduce damage to Jennifer’s liver. It was eleven months before Gretchen could take Jennifer home from the hospital, proper nutrition would always be an issue, as would the risk of infection, but Gretchen and her husband was determined to give their tiny daughter the chance to live. The stoma proved to be successful, until at eighteen, Jennifer’s health began to decline rapidly. Only a liver transplant would save her life and give her the chance to achieve her dreams.

When Pig’s Fly is a personal account of a difficult situation through which Gretchen displays determination and unconditional love in support of her daughter. Gretchen charts Jennifer’s development and medical treatment with thoughtful reflection. Her voice is raw but it is honest and heartfelt.
Jennifer interjects with her own experiences of the struggles she faced medically, socially and psychologically. Despite her illness, Jennifer was encouraged to become an independent and live her life the best she could. Her strength in dealing with her illness, in no small part due to her supportive family, is admirable and an inspiration to those that face chronic conditions.
I feel strongly that organ donation is truly the ‘gift of life’ and Jennifer’s story of survival illustrates the point clearly. One organ and tissue donor can save the lives of up to ten people and significantly improve the lives of dozens more. Hundred’s of thousand’s of people worldwide die each year who could be saved by organ donation. Today, because of the generosity of one family who lost their 12 year old daughter, Jennifer is happily married, with a red headed daughter of her own.
When Pigs Fly is an inspiring true story that chronicles a mother’s fight to raise her daughter against all medical odds, and the miracle of Jennifer’s survival. This is an uplifting story of triumph over adversity.


About the Authors

Gretchen, born in Virginia, has lived and traveled in the East and West of the United States. She loves to walk beside the waters of Italy, Greece, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. An historian and archaeologist by training, she has written about early American artists such as Alfred J. Miller and Frank B. Mayer. A descendant of Danish/American authors, this is her first memoir. Written jointly with her daughter Jennifer Elisabeth Cooke Rinehart, When Pigs Fly is the story of Jennifer’s “exceptional journey.” It is a story of hope, laughter, love, humor, and determination.

Jennifer, born in Virginia, has lived and traveled across the country also. A student of history, she is the mother of beautiful Isabella. Jennifer also enjoys walking beside the ocean when she is not a home with Isabella, Chris, and their ten cats. Animal lovers, Gretchen and Jennifer are both surrounded by their families of cats and dogs as they write.



Please Consider Organ Donation

Australian Organ Donor Registry

US Organ Donor Registry

UK Donor Registry

Search for the Donor Registry in your country


Available To Purchase

@ Amazon  {Paperback and Kindle}


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1 of 3 electronic editions of

When Pig’s Fly

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 Entries close July 30th 2011

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. krystallarson
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 13:12:59

    This looks like such a cool book, I love novels that concern medical issues. Thank you for the giveaway! edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom



  2. Michelle Grayce
    Jul 23, 2011 @ 03:21:06

    This book sounds great.
    michelle grayce from uk



  3. Carol Wong
    Jul 23, 2011 @ 05:01:20

    I believe in organ donations as one of the best gifts that one human can give another human. I was sad when the TV show ‘Three Rivers’ was cancelled. I was hoping that it would encourage to fill out that little card behind their driver’s license to donate organs.



  4. Carol Wong
    Jul 23, 2011 @ 05:01:55

    I added this book to my “to read list” on Goodreads”.



  5. Carol Wong
    Jul 23, 2011 @ 05:07:09

    I tweeted this giveaway on Twitter::

    Review & Giveaway: When Pig’s Fly by Gretchen Cooke & Jennifer Cooke Rinehart:



  6. Linda Kish
    Jul 24, 2011 @ 04:08:05

    This sounds like a very interesting story. One that I would love to read.


    lkish77123 at gmail dot com



  7. Denise Z
    Jul 24, 2011 @ 06:14:59

    I came over from Housewife Blues and before that looked up this book on Goodreads. It sound very interesting and I have added it to me TBR list. Thank you for sharing this wonderful giveaway opportunity.




  8. Patricia Boyle
    Jul 24, 2011 @ 19:23:07

    Oh, the title of the book is rather light compared to the contents. When I think of the phrase, “When Pigs Fly” I really think of the day that my husband will vacuum without expecting a merit badge in return.



  9. Grace
    Jul 30, 2011 @ 15:18:28

    I would love to read it!





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