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Don’t Leave Me This Way is the funny, inspiring, profoundly moving true story of a woman’s fight for her life and dignity - and her determined quest to awaken an entrenched, unfeeling medical community to the fact that there’s always a human being inside every patient.
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By Pamela Harvey on 02-29-12
Another true story from someone who is neither famous nor a player on the world stage, nor the architect of some planet--changing accomplishment. However she DID go through hell and back, and not only survived but thrived, and lived to tell about it.
This woman has my unconditional admiration. The story has her pushing through obstacle after obstacle, jumping (metaphorically) through hoops and all the while never losing her perspective and sense of humor. Several times I laughed out loud while walking the bike path - other walkers, cyclists, runners must have thought I was nuts.
The gauntlet was thrown down many many times by her doctors and the rest of the medical establishment and she triumphed over that one too - hilariously naming all the characters and courageously ignoring their "advice" (in quotes for this) in order to follow her own path as an overachiever in the best way possible.
The narration was perfect. Joyce Bean's tone walked that fine line between sarcasm and honest emotion, and her nuanced characterization of Julia's impaired but gradually improving speech abilities could not have worked out better.
One more thing, if you've come this far in this review - the book uses the second person throughout, a technique that I am starting to love. Like the airplane pilot in "The Night Strangers" whose story is always a "you" story, 2nd person, this technique makes the narrative sound like an instruction manual, in a good way. After all, books can be, amongst so many other things, instruction manuals for life.
5 stars all around!
51 of 52 people found this review helpful
By Cheryl on 08-26-12
No One Could Dare Leave Julia This Way!!
I stopped in my tracks when the story reached the part where the Neuro registrar is testing Julia's brain function and he asks her to count backwards from 100 by sevens. Her husband's response was brilliant. "Don't write that down" "Why not?." "Because Julia couldn't do that before the stroke"
How well this and so many other moments in the book articulate the difficulties involved for patients in a medical world.
My daughter who has a brain injury and I listened to this book together. We laughed, we related, we cried along with Julia.
A powerful story of a woman with guts and determination.
Joyce Bean's narration is wonderful. She articulates so well this story of courage and triumph. I am not sure how she could have narrated this book except through a veil of tears and laughter and admiration.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful