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  • Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Susan Spencer-Wendel, Bret Witter
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (40)

    Susan Spencer-Wendel's Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy is a moving and inspirational memoir by a woman who makes the most of her final days after discovering she has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). After Spencer-Wendel, a celebrated journalist at the Palm Beach Post, learns of her diagnosis of ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, she embarks on several adventures, traveling to several countries and sharing special experiences with loved ones.

    Bonny says: "Until I Say Good-Bye is a paradox for me."
    "spunky gal goes out LIVING & writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author bravely bares much of her family life, her work life, and her physical struggles with ALS. She is a courageous reporter on the crime beat for her newspaper for 20 years, until she can no longer make it up and down the courthouse steps without falling. Unlike some who might stop working before that humiliating point, she does not. We begin to see she's like that throughout all the domains of life, including this writing.

    Many parts of this rather short memoir are full of juice, others are a little flat, obviously padded out to complete the book she was rushing to publish before she could no longer communicate. She typed much of this book on an iPhone, using only 1 finger, so who am I to complain about any of it, including the fact that it feels like this was a magazine article stretched out to become a book.

    The writing itself is good. It's the content that left me feeling there was a point in her life after being diagnosed with ALS where she started pushing friends and family into colorful situations in order to create material to write about, and the material suffers for this.

    She's careful to not invade the privacy of her husband and children too much, and so we see them only glancingly, and only in specific anecdotes. One of the most fascinating aspects of her story might have been how a marriage relationship endures, changes, suffers, or grows in such a struggle, but she avoids that mostly, and it leaves a yawning gap in the picture.

    But clearly, this memoir screams the message that she is doing ALS and end-of-life on her own terms, and so she does. Despite its flaws and gaps, the book is compelling reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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