Top positive review
Gritty, searingly honest view into the world of quadriplegia
Reviewed in Australia on 28 September 2020
In 2010 Shane Clifton was a 39 year old athletic man with a keen interest in golfing and surfing. Then an accident changed the course of his life in a split second. Based on his journals, blog posts and face book comments of himself and his wife, he chronicles his journey through months in hospital while coming to terms with his quadriplegia. As a theologian, there is plenty of reflection on pain and suffering, but this is no exercise in triumphalism. Instead we see lots of pain, anger and even plenty of justifiable swearing. He pulls no punches in describing in detail the indignities he's now forced to undergo. After getting home (and his wife Elly had to sell their home and car, buying new ones that would accommodate his wheelchair) he now had to navigate the tricky world of no longer being able to be the dad he'd previously been to his three sons, the difficulties of accessing public spaces that weren't wheelchair friendly, the very public humiliations of bowel and bladder malfunctions, and there's a whole chapter devoted to exploring possibilities of intimacy with his wife, in graphic detail. Some of these were cringe-worthy, some heartbreaking and some hilarious, often all at the same time. There is no happily ever after in this book. He continues to struggle with his limitations and the things that he's lost, however he has discovered joy in savouring simple things. The importance of this book, which is also written with much honesty and humour, is to take the reader into the world of the disabled, letting us see it through his eyes and hopefully gaining more understanding and compassion. Highly recommended.