A great book that was a cross between House MD and Mystery Diagnosis. It is definitely a real-life medial mystery thriller that will keep you reading until you find out the mystery diagnosis. The narrative also sheds light on the easy potential for misdiagnosis even with highly trained providers. Additionally, it makes the reader really think about their own health, and how we should not take our physical and mental health and well-being for granted. While the author does personally narrate her own saga, Heather Henderson does a terrific job conveying the various emotions and unnatural, difficult mental situations. The emotion and subtle inflections helps make this book believable as if you are standing right by Susannah experiencing what she is experiencing, or in the case of this book, experiencing "what she thinks she is experiencing." Additionally, the first person narrative is what really transcends the reader into the illness, the healthcare system and the various caregivers' lives. I applauded the author's research and access to medical records--something missing many other first-hand narratives of disease. This would be a great supplemental text for many college classes. The book sheds light on both the progression of disease and recovery. I gave this four stars because I thought the recovery section was the weakest part of the book and could have been shortened quite a bit, but before that, the book will grab you within the first few pages trying to understand how a disease could quickly can alter your reality and overall health. . . you are likely not to put it down until finished!
I would give this book three stars, but the research and narration is good and sometimes humorous as told by the author himself. I like how the author narrated his travels and searches, which sometimes had an undertone of pure amazement and other times resentment when encountering a new Jewish group. I did initially think this book was going to be more of a self discovery of becoming a Jew, but, instead is more of a historical/ethnography of Jews within the United States. Possibly the most interesting section of the book was the Crypto Jews of New Mexico, but, I thought this section could have been researched more since it left the listener (and reader) wanting more details.
The book, however, does detail and expose the various groups of Jews within the United States and actually breaks away many misconceptions that protestant Christians or other religions (or non-religious) people may have about Jews. I would recommend this book to anyone struggling with their own religious identity as our author does, and in his own way, comes to peace with it. Shalom
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