Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review: Crash

Today's review is on Crash: A Mother, a Son, and the Journey from Grief to Gratitude by Dr. Carolyn Roy-Bornstein

First and foremost, I have to say that this is the most heart wrenching and heart warming book that I have had the pleasure of reading in a very long time.

A memoir of her son's tragic accident that left his girlfriend dead and him suffering from a traumatic brain injury, Crash takes the reader step by step on Bornstein's and her families grueling road through loss, recovery and acceptance.

Written so well and with such clarity, I could not help but be touched in some way or another from each and every page. Be it the description of Bornstein gasping for breath as she raced to the scene of the accident, the way she explained the fixed and dilated state of Trista's eyes, or the joy she felt when hearing Neil tell her that he "jumped", I was right there emoting along beside her.

Tragedy can happen in anyone's life at any given point, a concept many teens do not understand. It's something that we, as their parents don't want to think about either, but it is something that does need to be addressed. No one is indestructible. The alarming number of teen deaths due to drinking and driving, drugs, or suicide should be proof enough of that, but many times it just isn't. I wish that someone like Neil or his family could have spoken at my high school. Perhaps then, three of my classmates would still be alive today, all taken to early because of someone driving under the influence of alcohol.

An AMAZING Book that should be a part of any teen's library. I know I'll have my own two read it.

5 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Book Description: via Amazon

After 25 years of caring for children, first as a nurse, then as a pediatrician, Carolyn Roy-Bornstein finds herself on the other side of the stretcher when her 17-year-old son Neil is hit by a teenage drunk driver while walking his girlfriend Trista home after a study date. Trista did not survive her injuries. Neil carries his with him to this day.

Gratitude for her son’s survival ultimately gives way to grief. While initially told Neil’s only injury was a broken leg, Roy-Bornstein quickly finds herself riding in the front seat of an ambulance transporting her son to the ICU at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston; his brain is bleeding.

Roy-Bornstein is now not the patient’s doctor or nurse but his mom. The world she so easily navigates in a white uniform or a white coat now must be traversed, understood, and dealt with from the perspective of a parent.

There are many dividing lines in this story. The line that divides this family’s life in two: the events that occurred before the crash and those that came tumbling and faltering in its wake. The line that separates grief from gratitude: gratitude that her son is alive and as whole as he is; grief for his loss of memory and changed personality and for having his whole world shattered in an instant. The line that separates the world Roy-Bornstein knew so well as a doctor from the new one she must now navigate as the parent of a trauma victim.

In these pages she explores all of these boundaries: between then and now, grief and gratitude, before and after, us and them. Her many years as a "medical insider" bring her story authenticity and detail, while her newcomer status as the parent of a trauma victim add poignancy and warmth in this first memoir.


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