This is an incredible true story of “the miraculous escape of a misdiagnosed boy trapped inside his own body” who communicates his journey in the transparent retelling of all that he endured and overcame. Although the cause of his illness was unknown, Martin began a physical and mental decline at the age of twelve that left him completely incapacitated. After several years, his mind recovered but his body did not, leaving him fully aware of his surroundings but unable to let anyone know. This went on for ten miserable years, in which he also suffered abuse at the hands of facility caretakers. Then one caregiver began to recognize his cognitive awareness and urged his family to have him tested, ultimately leading to a remarkable transformation of his life. The rest of the book details the slow process by which Martin began to use computer technology to interact with the world around him. The storyline traces his family life, friendships, work, and eventual marriage. He seems to find healing in the writing of his story and reaching out to others in similar situations, hopefully letting go of the pain and unfairness of what happened to him. I am not sure why the genre is classified as “religion” because while the author did mention God’s presence being with him, he did not elaborate much about his faith or beliefs. However, the main messages are certainly congruent with a life of faith: overcoming adversity against all odds and valuing people with profound disabilities. I would classify the book as “inspirational” since the tragic subject matter is difficult to read in places, but the happy ending makes it worthwhile.
Required Federal Trade Commission disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by BookLook blogger review program in exchange for an honest appraisal.