4 out of 4 stars
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One of the most expected seasons for many of us is summer. We think of beaches, car rides, late nights outside, going to the pool, boating, fireworks, etc. Nonetheless, for Brenda Currey Lewis, the summer of 1974 didn’t bring a cool breeze under the hot sun. She was diagnosed with dystonia which is a bizarre neurological movement disorder that causes a muscle, a group of muscles or all the muscles to twist and tug the body adopting awkward positions. A Twisted Fate: My Life with Dystonia is her story.
I had no idea what dystonia was. When I read the synopsis of the book, I found myself quite intrigued and wanted to learn what this neurological invader could do to people. By all means, this book has been more than an eye-opener in this matter. I’ve learned not only about Brenda’s personal struggles and her ups and down battling with this belligerent enemy but also about the different types of dystonia that exist so far. The fact is that Brenda took up the mammoth task to investigate about this disorder, its characteristics, and possible causes. She includes her research and observations very smoothly throughout her narration, and she dedicates the last chapter of her book to briefly provide more information if the reader wants to delve into them a bit more.
In her book, Brenda relates her story since day 1 when she was born. Her story is very easy to follow since it’s written in a chronological order most of the time. She recounts her early years in life and how those were no different from any other child. Her life is so vividly depicted in the book that I thought I was watching a movie while reading it. I also loved the cute pictures she shared showing some of her epic moments in life. Too bad the pictures were black and white, even the most recent one.
What I loved the most in this book was Brenda’s honesty. Her words touched my heart deeply, especially when she said she does not blame God for her condition, yet she still has many unanswered questions. She expresses how she felt when she was diagnosed, how this affected herself and her family, and how others viewed her. Allow me to share with you a piece of her mind: “People’s perceptions change when they see an individual who has anything more than a simple limp. It seemed to me that intelligence, hearing, and other abilities are also questioned.” I totally agree with that statement.
Whether you are looking for a story to learn about dedication, perseverance, selfless love, genuine caring for others, or you like nonfiction stories, or you want to enhance your knowledge about dystonia, I truly recommend you to read this book. You will absolutely take delight in reading it. Even though there are some missing commas and words, the story is beautifully written. It brings up questions such as: Is the government really helping disabled people to the fullest? How do I treat people that have an impairment? Can I help them? How?
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I would rate it 3.5 if I could because of the missing commas and words and a strange order in chapter 28, but the system does not allow me to do so. However, I do not consider it deserves a 3, for it would be underrated. I honestly think this book accomplishes the objective why it was written, which was to create awareness about dystonia, to help spread the word so more research could be done in order to find better treatments and/or a cure in the future. Kudos to Brenda!
A Twisted Fate:
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