Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a free copy of this book on Story Cartel in exchange for an honest review.
The Beauty of my Shadow: A Story of Strength by S.D. Michael
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
The Beauty of My Shadow shows us what a process making lemonade out of life’s lemons can be: sometimes a lengthy process, yes, but a worthy one. S.D. Michael is determined not to be a victim of a serious, life-changing accident but a survivor of it—yet, her story makes no attempt to sound like it’s being written by some perfect angel who instantly learns every noble lesson possible from her traumatic experiences as they come. No, Michael fesses up to her humanness, and the primary tense of her memoir allows us to see her grow through the progression of her story. To me, the most poignant line comes when Michael, speaking of Doris, says, “I miss her and always have,” and I literally applauded while reading the author’s discoveries in the last chapter. Plus, I’m a big proponent of books including pictures.
I can only imagine things like having pieces of glass locked into my skin for years, or needing to tell myself, “Yes, you really are crying” because I’ve lost the ability to produce tears of emotion to accompany my weeping, only a sampling of what Michael goes through as a result of her head injury. It’s interesting reading about all of the “parallels” she notices over the course of her journey and how she does not chalk them up to coincidence but to destiny. I know what name, or several names, I would give to the “director” who seems to be leading the author forward as she’s making decisions regarding her purpose.
There are moments in the memoir when the telling of some details seems repetitive, but this could be a result of the course of Michael’s journey, how the steps had to build upon each other, and it’s likely that if one particular detail hadn’t been repeated as much, I probably wouldn’t have been applauding by the end. Michael’s goal of pursuing prevention over punishment and making the best she can for others out of the hand she’s been dealt can serve as an inspiration for many.
Note for my blog readers: this memoir contains a minimal amount of profanity.