3 out of 4 stars
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Hollowed is a beautifully written memoir by Annamarie Ibrahim. An internationally acclaimed inspirational speaker and trainer, a wife, and mother. The author takes us through her life’s journey as a resilient woman who has had her fair share of adversities.
On one fateful day, while delivering a motivational speech, she collapsed on stage and woke up at a local hospital. From that day on, her health took a different turn. The doctors diagnosed her with Sweets syndrome, and life as she knew it had to change in order for her to survive. While the family was still focused on her condition, Annamarie’s husband was diagnosed with cancer and began his treatment journey. Shortly thereafter, Annamarie’s condition deteriorated, and she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. To stop the spread of cancer, she had to undergo surgery that left her literally hollowed. The surgery was a success; she recovered well and found a way to cope with her new normal. Tragedy struck again, and Annamarie lost her son.
The title of the book intrigued me, and I wondered why the author chose the title Hollowed. As I read through the pages, I found the title to be fitting. Annamarie was hollowed, both physically and spiritually. The ordeals she and her family went through are enough to drive one to insanity. Yet like dust, she continues to rise. The author’s humorous spirit and demeanor subtly shine through each chapter. I enjoyed the sprinkles of humor as they made reading this emotionally charged book pleasant. I liked the cheerful, resilient, and positive outlook of the author. From the first chapter to the last, the book exudes love. Annamarie loved her family deeply, and this was clear.
The events in the book were arranged chronologically. The structure and layout of the chapters enabled the book to flow seamlessly. The author’s explicit explanations and detailed descriptions allowed me to picture the different places they visited.
I came across only one instance of minor profanity and a few typos and grammatical errors. These did not deter me from understanding or enjoying the book. There was nothing I disliked about the book.
This book is inspirational and offers wisdom. I recommend it to readers who have experienced a traumatic event, adversities, or a loss of any kind. They will relate to this book, find comfort, and view grief from a unique perspective. Because of the errors in the book, I am awarding it a rating of 3 out of 4 stars.
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