Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nine Lives by Russel Whitehouse

Nine Lives by Russell Whitehouse with Jacqueline de Sarigny (Rated: C)

I went to this author's launch last November as I like to support local authors. Not quite knowing what to expect, I bought the book and began reading it. I was pleasantly surprised as I was drawn in to this man's memoir.

The book is easy to read with only 112 pages, and is written with an engaging narrative voice. It is the inspiring story of Mr. Whitehouse's battle with heart disease and his determination to lead a full and productive life in spite of his debilitating illness.

The author begins by saying that at the age of 64 he decided to reminisce about his life and "perhaps end up a little wiser for it." He states it is a "simple account of his life and 'deaths'." Indeed, the author had many brushes with death! But throughout the account of his dealings with his illness, his trials and his travels, his story is infused with humour and cheerful acceptance. His search for his past and to understand certain family situations were reflective. He is not a bitter man despite some of the things he lived through as a child.

Although the author suffered bouts of depression, the book is full of hope. It gave me much to ponder on since I suffer from chronic pain. I truly enjoyed this book. It was a pleasant read and I learned a few things along the way, mainly to face any personal illness with courage and to follow the author's advice to enjoy life, no matter what life throws our way.

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