23 May 2013

Thursday's Reveiw: Life in the Land of IS.....the amazing story of Lani Deauville, the world's longest living quadriplegic by Bette Lee Crosby


Book provided by author in exchange for review

Publisher: Bent Line Publishing
Price: $16.99 Paperback
               $6.99    eBook
Genre: Biographies and Memoirs
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Like every Bette Lee Crosby book that I have read (and I have read all of them except two), Life in the Land of IS...the amazing story of Lani Deauville, the world's longest living quadriplegicwas an enjoyable read. You may ask how a book about the life of a quadriplegic can be termed enjoyable. Well, there are two main reasons why I see this book as an enjoyable read. 

The first is it's subject, Lani Verner Deauville. Lani became a quadriplegic in the 1950s, in a time when people with severe disabilities largely retired from life. It was the time before the Americans with Disabilities Act, Political Correctness, or Equality and Equal Rights. Lani Deauville was different though. A diving accident left her in critical condition, her doctors holding out little hope for her. Not only did she survive, though, she went on to live an extremely full life and eventually become listed in the Guinness Book of World Records and the longest living quadriplegic. 

When I first decided to read this book, knowing that it was about the life of a quadriplegic, I expected a book filled with angst, fighting against the odds, frustration and guilt. Instead what I found was Lani, a woman that is as upbeat and positive as a person can get. Yes there were many instances where she described herself fighting against not only the odds, but the societal paradigms that relegated most of the disabled to the back burner of life. What there wasn't though, was a lot of angst, frustration, or recriminations. In fact, I think that Lani actually had a more positive view of life and its possibilities AFTER her accident than she did before. Her spirit and enthusiasm certainly shine through in this book, making her story one that I enjoyed reading and will not soon forget. 

Along with Lani's incredible enthusiasm for life, wit, and energy,Bette Lee Crosby's incredible ability to put the story together was the other factor that made this book so enjoyable. There is just something about Bette's wonderful way of telling a story that allows me to devour anything that she writes. I swear, I think that she could write about anything and make it an enjoyable read. While many writers stick to one genre, Bette is able to write successfully across many genres, and has. In this case, she has managed to put forward Lani's story is such a way that I felt I was sitting with Lani listening to her reminiscences in person. Another plus was the way that the book interspersed experiences after the accident with her life before the accident including many stories from when she was a child. I think it is the inclusion of these stories that allow us to see what a truly amazing person Lani is and how she was programmed to overcome obstacles way before her accident. 

As I said, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it as a great read. It is ultimately the story of someone who has been handed a challenge, risen to the occasion, beaten the odds, yet manages to stay as normal as you or me. A big thank you to The Sisterhood of the Traveling book and Bette Lee Crosby for making this book available to me in exchange for my review.