4 out of 4 stars
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Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon is a story about Jo Ann and Tom, two people deeply in love who suffered the ultimate pain: that of losing each other.
When Jo Ann first saw Tom, she didn’t pay him too much attention. After all, he was not her type at all. Yet, Tom knew from the very first moment they saw each other that she would be the love of his life, and that he would marry her.
Tom was always attentive towards Jo Ann, and he literally worshipped the ground she walked on, so eventually Jo Ann learned to love him as well. Their love for each other grew and became indestructible. It read like an everlasting fairy tale, right until the fateful tick bite on Block Island which slowly destroyed Tom’s health and ultimately took his life. Through the tick bite, Tom got Lyme disease and ALS (the second one being incurable which invariably leads to death). From that moment on, they tried every treatment for Tom they could find, they went to countless doctors and did every test available to them, and they never lost hope that Tom would, eventually, heal once again.
Even when Tom had no longer strength and energy left and had just about given up, Jo Ann would relentlessly search for a cure for her love. There had to be something that would help him heal.
I know I bit about Lyme disease and ALS, as in the Vitamin C Facebook group I’m a member of there are several people with either Lyme or ALS seeking help through orthomolecular medicine. Lyme is curable, and orthomolecular supplementation helps many even when Lyme is in an advanced stage, but ALS is much trickier. So when I got to the chapters in the book where Tom was diagnosed with ALS, I knew exactly how the story would end. Still, it didn’t make reading it any less emotional.
From the second half of the book I was in tears until the last page. Jo Ann’s hope was intact almost until the end (hence the title of the book). She would always see everything through rose-colored glasses. That’s what gave her strength, and even after Tom died, once she went through the grieving process, that’s what kept her going, helping her move on with her life knowing Tom would always be next to her in heart and soul.
I enjoyed reading about the small signs showing Jo Ann that Tom was never far away. Their favorite songs would play in the most unlikely places, and people she met would utter the same words that Tom used to tell her lovingly.
Most chapters started with small handwritten notes Tom and Jo Ann had left for each other. They were heartwarming and full of emotion and love. The whole book speaks about love, a deep one that transcends time. It is also a memoir of loss and of hope. The author noted that she started writing this book to help her remember everything that happened from the time she met Tom. While she might not have known back when she started the book, I believe it also helped her cope and end the cycle of grief. Publishing the book, however, can help countless other people who face loss and grief and need a way to deal with them. This story will speak to them personally.
The book is well-written with words that evoke strong emotions in the reader. I would be surprised if the story didn’t make everyone who reads it shed at least one tear. It’s just that powerful. I didn’t find any grammatical errors in the book, so I know that the editors did a great job with the manuscript.
For all the reasons above, I give Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to people who enjoy reading memoirs, to those who need a way to deal with loss and grief, and to those who are fond of reading true love stories.
Rose Colored Glasses
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