2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Tina has read 0 books toward her goal of 39 books.

Monday, July 7, 2008

REVIEW for Somewhere in Heaven

I was asked to review this book for: http://www.frontstreetreviews.com/

TITLE: Somewhere in Heaven
AUTHOR: Christopher Andersen
GENRE: Biography
DATE: July 8, 2008
RATING: 4 Stars

I have just finished reading Somewhere in Heaven, The Remarkable Love Story of Dana and Christopher Reeve, written by Christopher Andersen. I did not think that I could feel such sadness for this couple, but from the opening lines, I found myself actually crying as I read and pretty well continued doing so until the end of the book.

Although I thought Christopher Reeve was a good actor, I never really followed his career or his life. Of course, I was shocked by his tragic accident, but it wasn’t until I heard about the death of his wife Dana that I clued in that maybe there was more to this family than I had originally thought.

When I was given the chance to read this book, I jumped on it. From the opening pages, which described the last few hours of Chris’ life, I immediately feel in love with this couple. After a brief description of Dana and Chris’ childhoods, the author details their romantic and beautiful courtship as well as the birth of their son Will. I just loved the way these two people looked across a crowded room and just ‘found each other’ – it was so perfect. All I kept thinking as I read, was how lucky they were to find each other. However, as it seems to be with this couple, tragedy was never far away – apparently just about to strike. Most of us are, by now, quite familiar with the horrible riding accident Chris Reeve was involved in shortly after the birth of his child in 1995. Although I was familiar with some of it, this book details the struggles that Dana had to go through to prevent Chris’ mother from asking the doctors to remove him from the ventilator. From the moment Dana found out about the accident, she was determined to be there for her husband and it is apparent that she fulfilled this desire and became, in many ways, his ‘Superwomen’ when he needed her most. I loved reading about her strength and her conviction that the man she loved would come out of this somehow. How lucky Chris was to have picked this woman to be his wife.

Chris and Dana truly showed the world that love can conquer all. They became activists and dedicated their lives to finding a cure for spinal cord injuries. Through it all you felt the intense love these two people had for each other. Just writing this, I feel as though I am going to cry again. Tragedy would strike again and again as Chris would suddenly die of a massive heart attack followed shortly by Dana’s mother death and finally the biggest blow of all – the diagnosis that would tell Dana that she was dying of lung cancer. How much can one family take?

Throughout all her fear, pain and sadness, Dana continued to champion on – and focused on her son and keeping Chris’ message alive.

Dana would eventually die of her disease, but in the wake of all the pain this beautiful couple has left me in awe of their courage and strength. I applaud them and am truly inspired by their spirit.This book captures all of the events of their lives and is told in beautiful prose. You never feel as though you are intruding on their privacy, but rather as though you are asked to share in the joys and in the sorrows.The author did a wonderful job of writing a story that must have been emotionally draining to write, but it was also a story that needed to be told.Although the ending is tragic, the journey is beautiful. I suggest you get this book and find out just how strong the power of love is.


Anonymous said...

Tina - yes, theirs is a heartbreaking love story. I haven't read *Somewhere in Heaven*, but I did read Christopher Reeve's memoir *Still Me* many years ago and remember being very moved by it.

Michele said...

Thanks for stopping by and registering for my giveaway!

Silverheron said...

I remember when the diagnosis of Lung Cancer came out for Dana. Since I have studied Chinese Medicine I was reminded that the emotion attibuted to the lung system is grief (according to chinese medicine). When I heard about her it was clear to me the depth of her love. Unfortunately, when someone is dealing with great grief they suffer from illnesses to the lungs. I have seen it many times.

Anyway it sounds like a great book and I will keep my eye out for it.

Allison said...

I just found out about this book a couple days ago on ET. I hope to get the book and read it..looks interesting, but I am sure a box of kleenex will be needed!

Library Cat said...

This sounds like a beautiful story - like you said, most of us knew the outside world they lived. I can't wait to read the book - thank you for such a nice review.

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