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In the twenty-third year of their marriage, Sonya Lea’s husband, Richard, went in for surgery to treat a rare appendix cancer. When he came out, he had no recollection of their life together: how they met, their wedding day, the births of their two children. All of it was gone, along with the rockier parts of their past—her drinking, his anger. Richard could now hardly spe In the twenty-third year of their marriage, Sonya Lea’s husband, Richard, went in for surgery to treat a rare appendix cancer. When he came out, he had no recollection of their life together: how they met, their wedding day, the births of their two children. All of it was gone, along with the rockier parts of their past—her drinking, his anger. Richard could now hardly speak, emote, or create memories from moment to moment. Who he’d been no longer was. Wondering Who You Are braids the story of Sonya and Richard’s relationship, those memories that he could no longer conjure, with an account of his fateful days in the hospital—the internal bleeding, the near-death experience, and the eventual traumatic brain injury. It follows the couple through his recovery as they struggle with his treatment, and through a marriage no longer grounded on decades of shared experience. As they build a fresh life together, as Richard develops a new personality, Sonya is forced to question her own assumptions, beliefs, and desires, her place in the marriage and her way of being in the world. With radical candor, Sonya Lea has written a memoir that is both a powerful look at perseverance in the face of trauma and a surprising exploration into what lies beyond our fragile identities.


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In the twenty-third year of their marriage, Sonya Lea’s husband, Richard, went in for surgery to treat a rare appendix cancer. When he came out, he had no recollection of their life together: how they met, their wedding day, the births of their two children. All of it was gone, along with the rockier parts of their past—her drinking, his anger. Richard could now hardly spe In the twenty-third year of their marriage, Sonya Lea’s husband, Richard, went in for surgery to treat a rare appendix cancer. When he came out, he had no recollection of their life together: how they met, their wedding day, the births of their two children. All of it was gone, along with the rockier parts of their past—her drinking, his anger. Richard could now hardly speak, emote, or create memories from moment to moment. Who he’d been no longer was. Wondering Who You Are braids the story of Sonya and Richard’s relationship, those memories that he could no longer conjure, with an account of his fateful days in the hospital—the internal bleeding, the near-death experience, and the eventual traumatic brain injury. It follows the couple through his recovery as they struggle with his treatment, and through a marriage no longer grounded on decades of shared experience. As they build a fresh life together, as Richard develops a new personality, Sonya is forced to question her own assumptions, beliefs, and desires, her place in the marriage and her way of being in the world. With radical candor, Sonya Lea has written a memoir that is both a powerful look at perseverance in the face of trauma and a surprising exploration into what lies beyond our fragile identities.

30 review for Wondering Who You Are: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ylenia

    DNF @ page 235 I'm sorry but I can't force myself to read this. That's the opposite of what reading should be. I wasn't very much into this when I started it & I guess the feeling never left me, because here I am, giving up when I can finally see the end. I feel like memoirs are supposed to make you feel something & this one just missed the point for me, mainly because the writing style wasn't that good. The author talks & talks about how she's always writing but she failed at conveying emotions. DNF @ page 235 I'm sorry but I can't force myself to read this. That's the opposite of what reading should be. I wasn't very much into this when I started it & I guess the feeling never left me, because here I am, giving up when I can finally see the end. I feel like memoirs are supposed to make you feel something & this one just missed the point for me, mainly because the writing style wasn't that good. The author talks & talks about how she's always writing but she failed at conveying emotions. The way she decided to narrate the story (first, the surgery & what happened and then stories from her past with her husband) didn't feel very smart, because, again, she missed the opportunity of connecting emotionally with the reader. I feel sad because it's like I'm saying "I don't care enough about this person's life to even finish the whole book", but I swear it's not like that. I just can't stand bad writing.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carol Holding

    Sonya Lea is a fabulous writer with an honest and subversive message, and Wondering Who I Am is a great read. Lea’s command of the medical specialists, medical centers, tests, drugs etc of traumatic brain injury, some of which are further elaborated on in the Notes section, makes this also an invaluable resource for anyone facing memory loss in themselves or a loved one. Wondering Who I Am is equal parts love story and medical nightmare. The two narratives are intertwined through the first part Sonya Lea is a fabulous writer with an honest and subversive message, and Wondering Who I Am is a great read. Lea’s command of the medical specialists, medical centers, tests, drugs etc of traumatic brain injury, some of which are further elaborated on in the Notes section, makes this also an invaluable resource for anyone facing memory loss in themselves or a loved one. Wondering Who I Am is equal parts love story and medical nightmare. The two narratives are intertwined through the first part of the book, with chapters detailing Sonya’s efforts to manage the horror of her husband Richard’s mishandled cancer operation and his resulting memory loss alternating with the story of their love affair and 23-year marriage. By the end of Part One, I was in love with both and equally sympathetic to their plights, not an easy feat. The characters are deeply flawed by circumstance. Richard has no memory of his past including the existence of his wife and children or the particulars of how to function in society. Sonya is an ex-alcoholic who doesn’t sugar-coat her own trauma and failings caring for a man who is functionally a child. Her “ambiguous loss” tears her apart through three years of Sisyphian effort. She reminds us again and again that the man with the appalling manners and inability to engage in conversation is the same gorgeous guy she’s loved since she was seventeen, the 6’6” chiseled man who now has to be re-taught everything, even to blink. Needless to say, Sonya tries many cures, from therapies to religions to retreats, desperate to hold herself together and help her husband get better, with varying degrees of success. My favorite line (and there are more than a few moments of humor) comes after one of these experiments, when she finally feels the profound sense of peace and acceptance she's been seeking…then admits to herself she’s “full of shit.” This book reads like a thriller, albeit a heart-breaking one, pulling you through the “not-knowing” of a spouse’s “permanent disability” while keeping up the suspense of what will happen to the two characters and their children. Highly recommended. NOTE: I read an advance copy that put every occurrence of the letters “ICU” in a different font and capital letters, as in “diffICUlty.” I’m not sure if this was intentional, but it had the effect of pulling me back to the horrific hospital scenes, keeping them as present in my mind as they must have stayed in the author’s. I hope they survived.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maddie

    Beautiful, honest, and heartbreaking. Sonya Lea bares her very soul in this memoir. We've all seen rom-coms like "The Vow" that explore memory loss and relationships, but Lea's story is so incontrovertibly honest; it automatically is set apart. Lea must grapple with the loss of a life- though no one physically dies. Rather, Lea's husband Richard suffers a brain injury after surviving a risky cancer treatment that ultimately erases his memories. He must struggle with the physical recovery after t Beautiful, honest, and heartbreaking. Sonya Lea bares her very soul in this memoir. We've all seen rom-coms like "The Vow" that explore memory loss and relationships, but Lea's story is so incontrovertibly honest; it automatically is set apart. Lea must grapple with the loss of a life- though no one physically dies. Rather, Lea's husband Richard suffers a brain injury after surviving a risky cancer treatment that ultimately erases his memories. He must struggle with the physical recovery after the surgery, as well as an altogether different mental recovery. But "Wondering Who You Are" is not Richard's story, but Sonya's. Though she is not the cancer survivor, Lea must also overcome obstacles and recover emotionally and mentally. She must live and care for a man that she no longer knows. At times she is brutally honest; she delves into the darkest parts of herself and chooses to share those with the world. Whether you agree with how she tells her story or not is irrelevant. Her candor and her desire to dig into what it really means to have a history, an identity, is what makes this memoir truly enlightening.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    How brave and skilled do you have to be to write a book this good, this intimate, this honest, and this engaging? Very! The tale begins at the start of Lea’s romance with Richard when they were teens in Canada and goes through their marriage, childrearing, his illness his recovery, her recovery, and their recovery. It’s a story of acceptance, truth-telling, compassion, and growth. I can’t put it down, and, yet, every time that I do, I gain new insight into my own marriage and my understanding of How brave and skilled do you have to be to write a book this good, this intimate, this honest, and this engaging? Very! The tale begins at the start of Lea’s romance with Richard when they were teens in Canada and goes through their marriage, childrearing, his illness his recovery, her recovery, and their recovery. It’s a story of acceptance, truth-telling, compassion, and growth. I can’t put it down, and, yet, every time that I do, I gain new insight into my own marriage and my understanding of what it means to be fully committed. Plus, Lea is an extremely good writer–check out her sentences, word choice, and note how the memoir flows.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

    This was probably one of the crappiest books I've read in awhile. I'm not sure there are many people whose memoirs I've read who were more dislikable to me than Sonya Lea. She's lived a life of addiction, whining, and "trying to find herself." I would say she is one big walking stereotype with the meditation, the Chinese medicine, the meditation and Buddhism with a sprinkling of prayers to God. Really, I couldn't stop reading because I was interested in the medical aspects of her husband who she This was probably one of the crappiest books I've read in awhile. I'm not sure there are many people whose memoirs I've read who were more dislikable to me than Sonya Lea. She's lived a life of addiction, whining, and "trying to find herself." I would say she is one big walking stereotype with the meditation, the Chinese medicine, the meditation and Buddhism with a sprinkling of prayers to God. Really, I couldn't stop reading because I was interested in the medical aspects of her husband who she miraculously didn't leave, but predictably they entered a polyamorous relationship. To any of my friends who see this I say to you: don't bother.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alyce (At Home With Books)

    This book appealed to me because of the medical aspect of the story: her husband losing his memory due to a medical procedure. I have a weakness for medical memoirs, as well as for amnesia stories, so this appealed to me from the start. What I hadn't counted on, but was pleasantly surprised by, was the author's deep soul-searching reflections on the nature of her relationship with her husband as well as personal identity (i.e. how memories make and shape us as people). While there were some thin This book appealed to me because of the medical aspect of the story: her husband losing his memory due to a medical procedure. I have a weakness for medical memoirs, as well as for amnesia stories, so this appealed to me from the start. What I hadn't counted on, but was pleasantly surprised by, was the author's deep soul-searching reflections on the nature of her relationship with her husband as well as personal identity (i.e. how memories make and shape us as people). While there were some things that the author did that I feel like I would never do (she is candid about exploring relationships outside of her marriage), I also feel that I haven't walked a mile in her shoes so I'll withhold judgment. I didn't expect that the philosophical reflections would be my favorite part of this book, but some of her observations on marriage and the nature of personal identity really resonated with me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Suzy

    When I started listening I thought this was going to be five stars, as I love author- narrated books. In the first half chapters alternate between past and present to fill in the back story of how Sonia & Richard met. The current strand of story then follows Richard's cancer diagnosis, treatment and memory loss following incorrect after-care at hospital. This is moving and personal, and it is amazing to hear how they coped. I also found Sonia was willing to share the bad times with the listener When I started listening I thought this was going to be five stars, as I love author- narrated books. In the first half chapters alternate between past and present to fill in the back story of how Sonia & Richard met. The current strand of story then follows Richard's cancer diagnosis, treatment and memory loss following incorrect after-care at hospital. This is moving and personal, and it is amazing to hear how they coped. I also found Sonia was willing to share the bad times with the listener /reader rather than gloss over these. Unfortunately then Sonia starts to tell about her sex life with other men and the litigation case, and I felt the impact faded for me at that point. I made it to the end because I had so enjoyed the start, but the last two hours of audio were not enjoyable. Overall - Remarkable people and fantastic they shared their story.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Wellum

    Mixed reaction to this book. The story about surviving a rare, aggressive cancer and the added tragedy of a life changing brain injury was remarkable. The roller coaster experience of those closest to such a situation was challenging and difficult. I was taken aback by some of the things that did happen and certainly don't understand the extreme actions taken by the author. Tedious and repetitious at times. However the sense of devastating loss and the gradual realization of a new reality was we Mixed reaction to this book. The story about surviving a rare, aggressive cancer and the added tragedy of a life changing brain injury was remarkable. The roller coaster experience of those closest to such a situation was challenging and difficult. I was taken aback by some of the things that did happen and certainly don't understand the extreme actions taken by the author. Tedious and repetitious at times. However the sense of devastating loss and the gradual realization of a new reality was well communicated.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michele Cacano

    So excellent. I am proud to call this woman "friend" and recognize the parts of her story that occurred over the past 15 years of our acquaintance. Sonya Lea writes from that part of the heart that people often call fearless, but is actually built in a cave of fear, and, instead, should be called the bravery of working and breaking through the fear. I can only imagine what the actual oh-fuck thoughts and emotions were as this type of honesty and recreation was being put on the page and into the So excellent. I am proud to call this woman "friend" and recognize the parts of her story that occurred over the past 15 years of our acquaintance. Sonya Lea writes from that part of the heart that people often call fearless, but is actually built in a cave of fear, and, instead, should be called the bravery of working and breaking through the fear. I can only imagine what the actual oh-fuck thoughts and emotions were as this type of honesty and recreation was being put on the page and into the hands of readers. I was slightly slogged with a few of the medical-rich sections, but stuck with it (of course, reading about it takes only a fraction of a fraction of the energy it took to go through in real time), which wasn't hard since reward lurks around every turn of the page. I feasted on the early chapters of their burgeoning relationship, in the glorious days of punk and bohemian influenced youth culture. I am not a romantic, but their love story is enthralling. I am most impressed with the author's ability to structure a story from these bits and threads of real life. Best memoir I've read, so far.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lou

    A bit past halfway through the book it became quite laborious to read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Gilmore

    Sonya Lea's "Wondering Who You Are" is a revelation. It's drama and suspense kept me up late into the night - finding it hard not to turn the next page. Sprinkled with vivid stories and just the right amount of humor, "Wondering Who You Are" is also highly entertaining - a story that had me, at times, shaking my head in disbelief at the trials and tribulations Sonya and Richard experienced. The bold lessons Sonya teaches us through her husband's traumatic brain injury and her own search for mean Sonya Lea's "Wondering Who You Are" is a revelation. It's drama and suspense kept me up late into the night - finding it hard not to turn the next page. Sprinkled with vivid stories and just the right amount of humor, "Wondering Who You Are" is also highly entertaining - a story that had me, at times, shaking my head in disbelief at the trials and tribulations Sonya and Richard experienced. The bold lessons Sonya teaches us through her husband's traumatic brain injury and her own search for meaning run deep. I have countless dog-eared pages in my copy - ones I will return to time and again so I can re-experience the truths she uncovered and be reminded of - and inspired by - her discoveries about acceptance, grief, forgiveness and evolution. This book is, at its heart, a love story. Sonya's brave writing gave me hope about love and relationships that I will carry with me always.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Finally finished this amazing book. It took me a bit longer than usual for something I enjoyed but I think it was because I was so interested in every detail, so I just let it soak in a bit more. Having been chronically ill, it was very interesting for me to see a illness from the caregiver side. Although I did not have a partner who was with me daily, I had a number of friends and loved ones that propped me up constantly and I know that at times the toll was greater on them than it was on me. T Finally finished this amazing book. It took me a bit longer than usual for something I enjoyed but I think it was because I was so interested in every detail, so I just let it soak in a bit more. Having been chronically ill, it was very interesting for me to see a illness from the caregiver side. Although I did not have a partner who was with me daily, I had a number of friends and loved ones that propped me up constantly and I know that at times the toll was greater on them than it was on me. This book was a fascinating step outside my familiar perspective and gave me a number of points to think about in the chronic illness discussions that I strive to initiate with my own writings.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Judith Laxer

    This fast paced memoir has everything: love, conflict, near death, loss, family, sex, recovery, and shifting identities set against a broad and varied landscape, from as far away as the Ganges River in India to as close as our own hearts and minds. Sonya Lea's command of language is as impressive as it is beautiful. Her candor is refreshing, her self-reflection courageous. I found myself caught up and expertly carried by her superb story telling. Wondering Who You Are is a riveting tale magnific This fast paced memoir has everything: love, conflict, near death, loss, family, sex, recovery, and shifting identities set against a broad and varied landscape, from as far away as the Ganges River in India to as close as our own hearts and minds. Sonya Lea's command of language is as impressive as it is beautiful. Her candor is refreshing, her self-reflection courageous. I found myself caught up and expertly carried by her superb story telling. Wondering Who You Are is a riveting tale magnificently told.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Josephine Ensign

    While this was a reasonably well-written memoir, it felt consistently morally questionable (at best) and reprehensible (at worst) to me. This was mainly because Lea is telling the story of (and profiting from) her husband's medical mishap that resulted in his severe brain injury, while claiming that he has given his consent to tell 'his' story. Really? By the time I got to the part about her sexual explorations into affairs/ polyamory--again, supposedly with her husband's 'consent,'--I was done While this was a reasonably well-written memoir, it felt consistently morally questionable (at best) and reprehensible (at worst) to me. This was mainly because Lea is telling the story of (and profiting from) her husband's medical mishap that resulted in his severe brain injury, while claiming that he has given his consent to tell 'his' story. Really? By the time I got to the part about her sexual explorations into affairs/ polyamory--again, supposedly with her husband's 'consent,'--I was done reading this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    What would you do if the person you vowed to love for the rest of your life changed into a complete stranger? While there are some out there who don't take their vows very seriously, there are many who do. Sonya Lea is one of the latter. Wondering Who You are is an unflinching look into a twenty three year marriage that has been reset, so to speak. I received a free copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. What would you do if the person you vowed to love for the rest of your life changed into a complete stranger? While there are some out there who don't take their vows very seriously, there are many who do. Sonya Lea is one of the latter. Wondering Who You are is an unflinching look into a twenty three year marriage that has been reset, so to speak. I received a free copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bridget Foley

    Bare, beautiful and full of truth about the difficulties of marriage, art and disability, Sonya Lea has done something lovely with "Wondering Who You Are." It is the story of a woman who has one marriage but two husbands, one a charming confident man lost to a cruel act of fate, the other the gentle "wonderer" who comes to occupy his mind and body after the loss. Readers who wept and nodded along with "The Glass Castle" and "Drinking: A Love Story" rejoice; You have found your next book. Bare, beautiful and full of truth about the difficulties of marriage, art and disability, Sonya Lea has done something lovely with "Wondering Who You Are." It is the story of a woman who has one marriage but two husbands, one a charming confident man lost to a cruel act of fate, the other the gentle "wonderer" who comes to occupy his mind and body after the loss. Readers who wept and nodded along with "The Glass Castle" and "Drinking: A Love Story" rejoice; You have found your next book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    I received this book from goodreads as a contest winner. I really enjoyed this touching memoir. It was so well written that I felt as if I was going through this journey with the author and her husband and family. It really shows what can happen to a family that is torn by a tragic happening in their lives, and how they can get through it together.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tenli

    Wondering Who You Are is a memoir about not remembering, and about memory. It is a heartbreaking description of loss, and a meditation about anger, sorrow, and acceptance. In recognizing how much of our experience is interpretation, the author comes to a place of "finding strength in what remains behind" in a way that feels real, not pat. Wondering Who You Are is a memoir about not remembering, and about memory. It is a heartbreaking description of loss, and a meditation about anger, sorrow, and acceptance. In recognizing how much of our experience is interpretation, the author comes to a place of "finding strength in what remains behind" in a way that feels real, not pat.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    What a sad, thought-provoking memoir. Sonya writes about her journey after her husband survives a hideous cancer, only to awaken with a total loss of memory. By following her (and her husband's) lives in this new, uncertain world there are so many opportunities to reflect on our own lives, identities, and relationships. Inspiring. What a sad, thought-provoking memoir. Sonya writes about her journey after her husband survives a hideous cancer, only to awaken with a total loss of memory. By following her (and her husband's) lives in this new, uncertain world there are so many opportunities to reflect on our own lives, identities, and relationships. Inspiring.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Frances Houseman

    Beautiful and honest. I continuously marveled at the author's willingness to "go deep" and be vulnerable. I so appreciated her words and will take them with me, incorporating many of her insights into my own mindfulness life practice. Beautiful and honest. I continuously marveled at the author's willingness to "go deep" and be vulnerable. I so appreciated her words and will take them with me, incorporating many of her insights into my own mindfulness life practice.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shari

    I cant believe I won a copy of this book on Goodreads

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kayo

    Couldn't put this book down. Fabulous. Makes you see so much in a different light. Couldn't put this book down. Fabulous. Makes you see so much in a different light.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This is the second heartbreaking memoir I've read in a row. It's such a cliché, but it's truly amazing what people can live through and survive. After twenty-three years of marriage, Sonya Lea's husband, Richard, was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of abdominal cancer. His internal organs were being overtaken by mucous-producing tumor cells and his prognosis was bleak. He decided to undergo an (at the time) experimental surgery. It was a surgery so complex, it was dubbed the MOAS by survivo This is the second heartbreaking memoir I've read in a row. It's such a cliché, but it's truly amazing what people can live through and survive. After twenty-three years of marriage, Sonya Lea's husband, Richard, was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of abdominal cancer. His internal organs were being overtaken by mucous-producing tumor cells and his prognosis was bleak. He decided to undergo an (at the time) experimental surgery. It was a surgery so complex, it was dubbed the MOAS by survivors, the Mother of All Surgeries. Unfortunately, during this surgery, things went very, very wrong and his stomach cavity filled up with liters of blood. When he woke up, Richard was not only physically less able, but due to the extreme blood loss, he developed a brain injury that cruelly made him lose his memories and identity. Not only does Richard not recognize the man he has become, his wife must reconcile the fact that the man he used to be - the man she fell in love with and built a life with - likely wouldn't fully return to his former self. The chapters start in alternating formats of the early love story between Sonya and Richard when they met and fell in love as teenagers with the years after the surgery to the present day after thirty or so years of marriage. It's a scathingly honest account of how Sonya comes to terms with her family's new normal. Her husband's personality has changed from smart, headstrong and hardworking to passive and agreeable. He tires easily and becomes reclusive. He must undergo a myriad of major rehabilitative therapies in order to try to restore some of his physical and mental abilities. In the meantime, his wife is mourning the former partner she had: the memories they shared, the unique experiences they had that formed them as a couple, and the years of bonding, discussions, and ups and downs that made them into who they each were individually as well as a couple. Initially, Sonya was full of resentment. She just wanted the man she loved with to rehabilitate back to his former self. She was angry at finding herself in the role of caretaker and grieving the physical relationship they'd formed as a couple. She was stressed out from a medical malpractice suit they filed and from taking on the brunt of the workload. As she processed her feelings towards her husband's new state of being, she also started to question her own identity. Over the years, she slowly discovers the ways in which we imprint our own biases and points of view onto our memories and that with enough time and patience, it's possible to slowly rebuild and come to a place of acceptance and understanding. And sometimes, when enough time passes and where there's an abundance of empathy and love, a terrible tragedy can make us come out changed for the better on the other side. Judge the cover: 5/5

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I gave up on this book. This felt like a really interesting, dramatic story that a writer decided she could make even more interesting and dramatic with some wind-swept, emotional descriptions of relatively mundane things. Unfortunately, what got lost in this poetic re-telling of an American Love Story was the straight-up facts: throughout the first third of the book, Lea kept implying that her husband "was not the same man" as before an intense surgery, but she doesn't actually tell us why she I gave up on this book. This felt like a really interesting, dramatic story that a writer decided she could make even more interesting and dramatic with some wind-swept, emotional descriptions of relatively mundane things. Unfortunately, what got lost in this poetic re-telling of an American Love Story was the straight-up facts: throughout the first third of the book, Lea kept implying that her husband "was not the same man" as before an intense surgery, but she doesn't actually tell us why she thinks that. From what I can cobble together, during his post-operative hospital stay, he didn't talk or move much, and Lea never quiet explains how she realized"this man is not MY man." But... how do you know that? What did he do to make you think he didn't remember you? Further,Lea occasionally dropped unexplained details that seem irrelevant and superfluous. For example, at one point, she laments her post-operative husband's digestive problems, and curses the surgery for taking away her husband's one main love: relishing delicious food. But before that reference, she never once mentioned her husband's supposed prior passion for food--she never talked about him taking cooking classes, or spending lazy Saturdays in the kitchen, or enjoying a trip to Whole Foods, or even cooking AT ALL. But suddenly, he's a former gourmand? Little things like this made this story feel incomplete and stilted, and I didn't see the need to finish it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bianca

    I’ve never given a 2 star review before but I really could not with this book. If I didn’t have just 30 minutes left on the audiobook I would have quit, but I’m more and more wishing I did. I could not stand the writing style. I think she wanted it to be poetic and/or dramatic but it just felt repetitive and forced and very detached. Not only were her “list” of descriptions (which felt like she just grabbed a thesaurus and listed out all the synonyms for one word) very annoying, but so was she. I’ve never given a 2 star review before but I really could not with this book. If I didn’t have just 30 minutes left on the audiobook I would have quit, but I’m more and more wishing I did. I could not stand the writing style. I think she wanted it to be poetic and/or dramatic but it just felt repetitive and forced and very detached. Not only were her “list” of descriptions (which felt like she just grabbed a thesaurus and listed out all the synonyms for one word) very annoying, but so was she. I hate to say that about a person who went through what she did, but it almost feels pointless to have written this memoirs of her basically complaining the entire time. What ever happened through in sickness and in health? I don’t know, but I just feel like this could have been such a beautiful story of resilience and love, but I didn’t feel that. I enjoyed maybe the first 100 pages, but after that it felt more and more of fake “discovery” of self, I couldn’t do it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Lea's book was about difficult subject matter, a virulent form of cancer and a traumatic brain injury. She presents the subject matter in a too clinical format. It was one that never really allowed me to connect with the characters. Although I empathized with them due to the severe nature of the husband's health issues, it was as though the author had you observing from a distance rather than intimately engaging in their lives. It would have been more powerful if the emphasis had been more upon t Lea's book was about difficult subject matter, a virulent form of cancer and a traumatic brain injury. She presents the subject matter in a too clinical format. It was one that never really allowed me to connect with the characters. Although I empathized with them due to the severe nature of the husband's health issues, it was as though the author had you observing from a distance rather than intimately engaging in their lives. It would have been more powerful if the emphasis had been more upon the marital relationship. Then the health crises would have been far more impactful.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dirk

    Simply outstanding. Lea writes with grace and stunning insight. This is my 79th book this year, and ranks as the best so far. Lea is brutally honest, unashamed, and writes about rebuilding, recreating, reimagining her marriage and relationships as her family works through her husband’s harrowing cancer and its repercussions. I don’t believe there was a single chapter that closed without the downward pull of a tear down my cheek.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This book was choppy and repetitive in several parts. The story was worth reading and had an interesting topic, but I found myself losing interest about 1/3 the way through and fought to finish. There are several well-written passages, the author's writing style is pronounced, but the subject matter is sleepy. Should have been condensed to 200 pages at best. This book was choppy and repetitive in several parts. The story was worth reading and had an interesting topic, but I found myself losing interest about 1/3 the way through and fought to finish. There are several well-written passages, the author's writing style is pronounced, but the subject matter is sleepy. Should have been condensed to 200 pages at best.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Margarita

    Amazing, crazy, relatable. A woman and her husband have their lives upturned when the husband's cancer diagnosis leads to an experimental treatment and a subsequent anoxic brain injury that changes their lives forever. Amazing, crazy, relatable. A woman and her husband have their lives upturned when the husband's cancer diagnosis leads to an experimental treatment and a subsequent anoxic brain injury that changes their lives forever.

  30. 5 out of 5

    lucy

    Honestly? 3 stars. It was a good story, with an interesting premise, and a beautiful cover, but it just didn’t go anywhere. The extra .5 is for the beginning- it was really powerful reading about Sonya’s grapples with alcoholism.

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