Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Book Review: Beautiful Affliction by Lene Fogelberg

Beautiful Affliction 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Lene Fogelberg is dying—she is sure of it—but no doctor in Sweden, her home country, believes her. Love stories enfold her, with her husband, her two precious daughters, her enchanting surroundings, but the question she has carried in her heart since childhood—Will I die young?—is threatening all she holds dear, even her sanity. When her young family moves to the US, an answer, a diagnosis, is finally found: she is in the last stages of a fatal congenital heart disease. But is it too late? 

My Thoughts:

My friend emailed me last month with a request to review this book for a friend of hers.  I was so busy and told her that I wouldn't be able to do it for a little while and thought that was the end of it.  Luckily for me, my friend had her friend send me the book anyways.  I didn't really know anything about the book and I will be honest...when I received it I was not too excited to be reading a memoir.  They just aren't my usual read.  But I decided to give it a try since I told my friend I would and I am so very glad I did.  This story was amazing and had me from the very first page!

Lene Fogelberg has always known there was something wrong with her body.  She always felt that she would die young.  Her mother took her to a doctor when she was six and she was told she had a heart murmur but would never have to worry about it.  Being born and raised in Sweden, Lene didn't have the same health care system that we have here in the USA.  There were no well child exams every year or physicals for school.  Once the doctors told her she was okay, that was the end of it.

As Lene grows older, every breath is a struggle.  She tires easily and can't do what a normal kid or young adult can do.  She knows deep down that there is something wrong but she fights to make her body work for her.  She gets married and has two children.  She fights every day to be a good mom and a good wife but you can see the toll it takes on her.  

After she moves to the US with her family, she finally gets the answers that she seeks.  The answers are frightening but Lene will do what it takes to be strong and make it for her family.

This book was so beautifully written.  You could feel Lene's helplessness and depression as she was told over and over that she was fine and there was nothing wrong with her.  This book was so riveting that it had me up into the wee hours of the night reading because I simply couldn't put it down.  I had to know how Lene was going to survive.  She is such a strong woman and I was simply amazed at her perseverance.    

This book will make you believe in miracles.  It will restore some faith in humanity.  It will make you want to send it to everyone you know to read.  It was really just that good!  

A HUGE thank you goes out to my friend Marie and her friend, Angelica, for sending me this book for review.  It will forever have a place on my bookshelf.


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