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By Accident: A Memoir of Letting Go


Loved it! 😍

Getting hit by a truck seems unlikely to lead to anything good, but this memoir is a wise and honest look at pain, loss, and gratitude.

When Joanne Greene steps off the curb outside work and gets hit by a white truck, her community as well as caring strangers surround her. They handle the emergency and make sure to call her husband Fred. When she's in the hospital her pain is so intense, visitors are too much for her. She wants to be alone but panics when her husband isn't there. She has never experienced being this vulnerable or helpless. Joanne dreads going home, afraid that her husband won’t be able to care for her, but he surprises her. The man she fell in love with is resilient. He anticipates her needs, using humor and common sense to get them through.

Each chapter of this book contains a lesson. Greene writes with honesty and clarity about her emotions and the grueling aspects of the early days of being home. The world becomes as small or as large as the pain. Her hardest lesson was learning to trust others to help when she was at her most vulnerable. Healing has its own timeline, and you can’t muscle through it.

Sometimes her confidence was annoying, but as she reveals, it was her coping mechanism to get through tough emotional times. Her honesty moderated these moments and provided the context for how fragile and worried she felt about her potential for recovery. The reason why is significant. She's the last one left in her family and she had never allowed herself to grieve for them.

During her long convalescence, she shares tender stories of what taking care of her elder sister and aging mother entailed. By relating their wisdom and willingness to listen, she gives the reader an intimate view of the Jewish faith and the importance of family traditions. Celebrating the milestones of friends is a core value of how their community celebrates life.

The couple's devotion to each other shines through every chapter of the book. They sought marriage counseling when they couldn't handle two careers and an infant. When she needs advice on dealing with the trauma of her accident, a friend tells her about somatic therapy--and she goes.

The core tenet of the Jewish faith is to Choose Life. Loving support and hard work make it possible. I learned so much.

Reviewed by

I read everything but high-level science and engineering textbooks. When I write on Medium, I write mini-memoir, poetry, and book reviews. I'm working on an urban fantasy series. I produce and do interviews for a podcast called "STOMP! with Debbie Walker." I am open to feedback.

About the author

A veteran S.F. radio talk show host and news anchor, Joanne hosts two podcasts: “All the F Words” and “In This Story…” Her memoir, By Accident, arrives June 2023 . She lives in Marin County, CA, with her husband and Goldendoodle. Both sons and two grandchildren are thriving in Los Angeles view profile

Published on June 20, 2023

Published by She Writes Press

50000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

Reviewed by