Best Review Ever

 

Best Book Review Ever


This book should not exist

By

Patrick Boberg

Originally published August 17, 2020

Reprinted with permission

 

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It's late on a mid-October 2015 night and I am struggling with whether I should buy a $1,200 last-minute ticket to California to be with my family for my mother's emergency brain surgery. A week prior everyone was together in my house for an adventurous weekend climbing a wind turbine and celebrating my grandmother's 90th birthday, now we are on the eve of my mom going under the gamma knife for emergency brain surgery. Turns out she has a size-able tumor growing on the surface of her brain.
 
It's a bit of miracle that the tumor was discovered in the first place as my mom's routine cancer screenings didn't usually include brain scans; however, she had been complaining of blurry vision and balance issues, plus she had become quite irritable having been pushed to take FMLA from work to deal with what she thought was post-cancer "brain fog." Thankfully her doctor had the good sense to add it all up and include her brain in her next cancer scan. Sure enough, there it was a meningioma tumor, nice and large pressing against her brain and skull.
 
Now years after the successfully operation and recovery, my parents are now half-retired and living a much less expensive 15 minute drive from my house. Oh and my Mom has climbed another insurmountable mountain and published a book.

 

When I think of battles my mom had to win to get here, this book should not exist. First breast cancer in 2013, two years later a non-cancerous brain tumor in 2015, then of course the stage-four metastatic bone cancer re-emergence in 2019 which she is still living with today, and finally a global pandemic hits right at the start of their cross country move?! How many people can thread four impossible needles, just to come out the other side and publish a novel.

The shear idea of it is sounds like a cheap work of fiction, but as anyone who can punch 
"Adelyn Zara Finding Peace" into Amazon can tell you, it is most certainly fact.
 
I like to call myself a determined optimist and something of a dreamer, but my Mom's personal triumphs make me look lazy. She often says the idea for a book was seeded when her parents passed away in 2010 and her “aunt” asked where her book was. Maybe so but sitting down and writing a few hundred pages of characters, dialogue, and story is another thing. Millions have tried and I think it's safe to assume their obstacles to finishing weren't two bouts of cancer and a brain tumor.
 
It's commonly said brain surgery is tricky, it can change you in unpredictable ways. People's entire personality can shift. One day you are happy-go-lucky, then post brain-knifing you're a curmudgeon addicted to FOX news. My Mom did change, in an incredible way. Now she's damn near a prolific romance writer.
 
Her first book "Finding Peace" is published, she's written and planned out two more releases within the next nine months, that series has multiple installments left to follow, she's cracked the story on a second series involving musicians, and she's written plenty of short stories one of which I know was included in an anthology.
 
Now as for a review, I can't give you one. First, I am a terrible reader. It is probably my 15th favorite thing to do and between parenting a spirited toddler, tending to my pregnant wife, doing my job, working on my personal screenwriting projects, short films, podcasting, seeing films, writing music, and simply carving out time for mindless fun... All that to say I haven't read it yet. I will, in fact I will make it a personal mission to start reading the impossible book as soon as I hit publish on this post, but before I do I had to share how this 461-page wonder came to be.
 
Two words I cringe at are genius and miracle, they are overused and stamped on unexpected but still understandable people and discoveries... and yet I struggle to think of a better word for my mom's book simply existing other than miracle. My children's grandchildren will be able to read this book (at the appropriate age I hope, I mean it is a romance novel) and that wouldn't have been possible if my mother hadn't survived, and thrived, in the face of impossible misfortune.
 
It's been five years since my mom's brain surgery and I still regret not buying that stupid ticket. Hell, I could've gotten in the car and arrived just in time for her to come out of the operating room. As anyone who knows will tell you there are no sure things when it comes to surgery, so I was taking a real risk crossing my fingers and toes, staying in Iowa. Thankfully, it is a gamble that paid off with incredible, long term rewards.

 

So here's to my mom, the published author. I have always been proud to call you my mom but now I can hold this book in my hand and remark on what you've shared with the world, knowing what you had to overcome in order to do it. Cheers to Adelyn Zara and the impossible book, Finding Peace.

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1 comment:

  1. This is the best book review ever! (Even if you've yet to read it, Patrick!)

    ReplyDelete

About the Author

I'm a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and very much not perfect. My own multiple health problems led me to write about women who experience life's traumas, but bounce back because they are resilient. I strive to bring happily ever afters to all my characters.

On Word and Upward!