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Book Review: Strong at the Broken Places

While going through my RSS feeds a few weeks ago, I came across a link to an excerpt of a book called
Strong at The Broken Places: Voices of Illness A Chorus of Hope
the excerpt seemed good, and I liked the premise behind the book. It's written by Richard M. Cohen, who has M.S., and wrote the book "Blind Sided, Lifting a Life Above Illness". The book shares the stories of five people with chronic illnesses. It shares both the positive and the negative aspects of illness.

Luckily for me, the book is available in audio format, either on CD or on Audible.com. It's a good recording, and it's unabridged, which is what I prefer.

Overall, I liked the book's format. It has a good sense of continuity and shares how the participants connect. Each person he interviewed has their own chapter and their narratives are developed in depth. There are also reflections at the end of each chapter, pulling out one or two key themes which the author feels are important.

I also like that the book talks about hope, but isn't overly pollyanna. It tells things like they are, shows how we get through the days, but doesn't try to evoke pity. That commitment to telling the truth about life is what makes the book have an unsettling feel sometimes, but I prefer that to a book which pretends that everything is okay.

In short, I highly recommend this book. The narratives are meaningful, the author is honest and the narrative is engaging.


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Mar. 16th, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC)
Some of the best books I've read in managing chronic illness have been books written by MS patients. Thank you for the heads up on this one, I'll look around for it! I think I could use a dose of hope right now!

Mar. 16th, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
You have a good point about a lot of the chronic illness writing being done by people with MS. I kind of suspect that it's partially due to the excellent support out there. I think the RSD community is coming further in that regard, but not all of the way. I'm looking forward to the day when more writing is out there from people with RSD, too.
Mar. 16th, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
From what I can see, RSDSA has had a lot to do with getting the word out. But I had never heard of it except a very brief mention of Causalgia when I was studying Neuro-Biology.

MS has been around and much better understood for a very long time. It also has not carried the stigma of 'chronic pain' as this one does. I guess it's the easiest descriptor. When people ask me what RSD is. . . I always tell them that I'm allergic to pain. lol. . . quick and easy.

I've been talking to my husband about writing a
life management book on it. . .like the ones I find with MS that talk about HOW to LIVE with it. Heh, a cook book would be nice, too. ..but I think I'll leave that for someone else to do. **laughs**
Mar. 17th, 2008 01:10 am (UTC)
There's a book called Behind Our Eyes, which is similar to what you're describing. I read it a few months ago, and was quite impressed with it.
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