Originally published: 11 July 2019
Author: Ella Dove
Published by: Trapeze
Genre: Women’s fiction
Length: 336 pages
Reading dates: 12-14 July 2019
Heidi is out jogging one day when she trips and falls on a canal path and dislocates her knee so badly, that she ends up having to have her leg amputated. A freak accident, this story is actually inspired by what happened to the author, Ella Dove.
Divided into three parts, in part 1 we see Heidi’s devastation at the accident and her trying to come to terms with what has happened. After leaving hospital she goes to the Amputee Rehabilitation Unit in Lambeth where she must learn to walk again with a prosthetic leg. Part 2 is about her starting to come to terms with what has happened to her. With the help of her friend Jack, she writes a list of things she wants to achieve to help get her life back on track and calls them her “Five Steps to Happy”. Part 3 begins as she leaves rehabilitation to start living independently again.
What an inspirational story! This book certainly leaves the reader with a sense of the strength and willpower that is needed to overcome such an injury, seemingly all the more tragic because of it happening to someone in the prime of her life. I’m not sure how much of the book is based on Ella herself – from what I understand, the accident and medical diagnosis are very similar. I’m sure Ella must have drawn on her own experiences of what it was like in hospital and rehabilitation and the guilt she felt for being a burden and worry for her family and friends.
Thought provoking, it made me much more aware of the obstacles that face disabled people every day, something I must admit I hadn’t given much thought to before. Things like using the London Underground which has very little provision for disabled people and the impatience of people when someone is in their way.
It really made me realise I shouldn’t take my life, mobility and health for granted. This book is sad but ultimately uplifting and is an inspiring and moving story. A great debut and I hope Ella has more stories to tell as I want to read them!
Many thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me on the blog tour and to Trapeze for sending me a proof copy! Be sure to checkout the other stops below:
About the author:
Ella Dove is a Commissioning Editor at Good Housekeeping, Prima and Red magazines. Originally from Kent and now based in Stratford, East London, Ella studied English and French at the University of Southampton, where she did her dissertation in Creative Writing. In 2015, she completed the Curtis Brown Creative three-month novel writing course.
In 2016, Ella became an amputee following a freak running accident. She is now an ambassador for the Limbless Association, Barts Health charity and The London Prosthetic Centre, and regularly leads talks, takes part in events and speaks to patients and their loved ones about trauma.
In her spare time, Ella reads, swims and sings in her local choir – and writes, of course!