Thursday, October 20, 2011

Me Again

Me Again
Keith Cronin
Five Star Publishing
Source: TLC Book Tours

Synopsis: (Front inside flap)

 That’s what thirty-four-year-old stroke victim Jonathan Hooper learns when he wakes up after spending six years in a coma. Everyone calls Jonathan’s recovery a “miracle,” but since nobody had expected him to recover, his sudden awakening becomes an awkward intrusion on the lives of his family and friends. To make matters worse, Jonathan doesn’t even recognize these people. The stroke has wiped away most of Jonathan’s memory, while the coma has withered his body.
In short, Jonathan’s not the man he used to be – whoever that was.

The only bright spot for Jonathan is Rebecca Chase, a young woman he meets in the hospital’s long-term recovery unit. A stroke has drastically changed her personality, making her a stranger to her husband. Gone is the vivacious trophy wife, replaced by a shy, awkward woman with a knack for saying exactly the wrong thing.

Constantly reminded how badly they fit in, Jonathan and Rebecca find much in common with each other as they work on rebuilding – and rediscovering – their lives. But while Rebecca copes with her husband’s frustrated attempts at “fixing” her, Jonathan finds mounting evidence that the man he used to be was not necessarily a very good man. And everywhere he turns, Jonathan keeps discovering more secrets that his own loved ones are keeping from him.

A steadily accelerating story exploring the irony, humor, and opportunity that can accompany personal calamity, Me Again follows the intertwined paths of two people forced to start over in life: one looking for his place in a world that has moved on without him, the other struggling to navigate a relationship with a man who wishes she were someone else.

My Thoughts:

I love the back cover “synopsis” of this book. [Which is not the synopsis above]  It really emphasizes the unique quality that Me Again brings to the table.  My general method in choosing a book starts with a catch of the eye, by cover, title or author.  Once I’ve been drawn to the book I instantly flip it over to read the synopsis.   The synopsis generally makes or breaks the book for me.  For Me Again, I couldn’t wait to keep reading after finishing the synopsis.  I didn’t even bother to read the extended synopsis on the inside front cover flap. [Above synopsis]  I was hooked with the short excerpt that is the synopsis and couldn’t wait to read more.

So, imagine you’re young… thirty or so… and bam!  Stroke.  When your reality comes back into focus, you find that you’re different to everyone.  While you used to like cheerios, you now hate them.  Your favorite band is no longer, things you never liked you now love.  Hard to imagine but for Rebecca and Jonathon, this is life as they currently know it.  Situations like the ones above are a constant for them.  Rebecca has undergone a complete personality change which has put a strain on her relationship with her husband.  Jonathon, who was in a coma for six years, has almost no memory and a family who assumed he was never going to wake up.  For both, the world has changed drastically though in different ways.  The common ground they find within each other builds a relationship and friendship uniquely different from any other relationship they have.  While both attempt to recover, understand themselves, their lives and the people around them by dealing with the hand they have been dealt, they also find comfort in their friendship and its unique common ground.

Me Again reminded me of a blessing.  I think it’s easy to forget how important and comforting it can be to have someone who understands what you’re going through.  Me Again is an emotional and humorous book that follows these two young stroke victims on their journey of self-discovery and recovery.  In an instant their lives are completely changed, who they were, is no longer who they are.  Their families are unable to understand because they simply cannot.  I found the dynamics between the families and patients in this story very interesting.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to be the family member of someone who didn’t remember me, or the wife of a husband whose personality completely changes in a moment.  This story is compelling and well written.  I enjoyed each and every part of it.  The characters are wonderful.   I really enjoyed reading about them and getting to know them, as difficult as some of the moments could be to read.  The book is greatly unique!  It is a great debut and I highly recommend it!  Take a journey with Rebecca and Jonathon; you’ll be glad you did.

Must Read, Don't Miss It!

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