The “inspirational” true story of a glamorous young life upended—and transformed—by a sudden brain trauma (Sacramento Bee).
A Publishers Weekly Best Nonfiction Book of the Year
“Having just graduated from college, Krug and her dreamy French boyfriend, Claude, leave the flatlands of Kansas for Santa Barbara, California—there, Krug finds a reporting job covering high society ‘gardens, weddings, and pets,’ and Claude gets a gig with a local paper. Young, in love, gainfully employed, and living close to the coast, post-collegiate life couldn’t be better—day after day ‘[t]hey drink Mexican beer and wear bathing suits indoors. They do drugs and wander through organic markets, spotting celebrities.’ But just weeks after settling in, Krug suffers a ‘severe’ cavernous angioma in her brain. She gets dizzy, she can’t walk, and it soon becomes clear that brain surgery is inevitable, and life will never be the same. In gracefully stark prose, Krug narrates in the third person the implosion of what should’ve been her gilded life, the sad and prolonged dissolution of her relationship with Claude, and her transformation from ‘the kind of girl other girls only pretended to like’ to a wife, mother, and PhD candidate back in Kansas. Interspersed throughout are fictional imaginings of the perspectives of her loved ones as she endures numerous surgeries and years of physically and emotionally excruciating rehab . . . an immediate, unsparing, and beautifully rendered account of loss and recovery.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A massive brain trauma robbed fashionable young Louise of the shallow currency she’d banked on all her life . . . a page-turner in which a person’s very soul deepens before your eyes.” —Mary Karr