4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Have distressing circumstances compelled you to abandon your dreams? Is life overwhelming you, leaving you without hope? In True Grit and Grace, Amberly Lago challenges readers to change their perspective. You have the “power to create the kind of life you want and to appreciate the kind of life you have – even when external circumstances narrow your possibilities.” (p. x)
Amberly was a professional dancer and a runner. She specialized in tap dancing and worked as a personal trainer. A traffic accident shredded her leg and obligated her to endure almost forty surgeries. Amberly had to make a crucial decision when the doctors wanted to amputate her leg. At one point, her greatest challenge was attempting to walk to the bathroom using only a pair of crutches. What kind of future awaited Amberly? Would she ever be able to dance or run again? How would she be able to raise her children?
True Grit and Grace: Turning Tragedy Into Triumph by Amberly Lago is a non-fiction book. Amberly told her story in 170 pages, divided into forty-four chapters. The chapters alternated between the accident and recovery and her childhood memories. I enjoyed this format as the flashbacks gave me a breather from the intense hospital and recovery narratives. Sensitive readers might not be so enthusiastic about some of the medical details.
The honesty and openness that poured off the pages of this book were genuinely moving. The resilience manifested, in the face of suffering, was spectacular and powerful. Amberly shared several diary entries revealing the feelings of frustration and depression that threatened to overwhelm her. She emphasized the importance of gratitude and focusing on the good things you have in your life. I found these intimate revelations to be refreshing and uplifting.
I enjoyed the depictions of Amberly’s husband, John. He is a California Highway Patrol Lieutenant. He arrived at the scene of the accident and witnessed the severity of his wife’s injuries. Later, readers observed Johnny caring for his wife in the hospital and at home. The love and affection between husband and wife will motivate couples to look at their spouses with renewed tenderness.
The author included links to her social sites. You can contact Amberly via her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Readers can learn about Amberly’s life since the accident, listen to her interviews, and read her blog. You can also contact her as a motivational speaker for a meeting or event.
I was hoping to see more events documented with exact dates. Specific dates for each chapter would help readers coordinate the parallel narratives. I was disappointed that the PDF version did not contain any photos of Amberly or her family.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. Amberly's story was gripping, emotional, and inspirational. Readers yearning for encouragement and concrete advice on how to triumph over depression and adversity will find guidance and techniques to invigorate their spirit. Couples can also find inspiration and modeling to strengthen their relationship. There were some grammar errors but not enough to lower the score. There are only a few instances of mild profanity. I did not find any sexual references. Her final words impacted me: “It is possible to regain confidence and joy.” (p. 166)
True Grit and Grace
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon