Title: When Life Throws You Lemons Make Cranberry Juice
Author: Shari Bookstaff
Publication Date: October 26, 2009
Paperback: 131 pages
About the Book:
When my kids were learning to walk, I remember walking behind them, ready to catch them if they stumbled backward. I never dreamed that thirteen years later my kids would be walking behind me, ready to catch me if I stumbled backward.
I was 42 years old when I was diagnosed with a benign, operable, brain tumor. Doctors predicted a short hospital stay followed by a speedy recovery. Complications arose, giving me unexpected life-long obstacles.
A divorced mother of two beautiful, talented, wonderful children, I had high hopes for a bright and happy future. I had a secure job that I loved, and I was beginning to date again when my brain tumor was diagnosed.
My life since that fateful day has been focused on regaining basic human functions: breathing, swallowing, walking, etc. I am working again, and trying to be a good mother to my two beautiful, talented, wonderful children.
Putting a positive spin on life’s disasters doesn’t always work, but looking for, and accepting, positive things in spite of life’s disasters works. Instead of making lemonade out of lemons, I add life’s sweet sugar and cranberries to my lemons. This makes life much more palatable.
As a stroke survivor I was very interested in When Life Throws You Lemons Make Cranberry Juice by Shari Bookstaff. While it is an autobiography of Shari’s life, focusing primarily on the years after her divorce in 2005 and leading up to her diagnosis of a benign brain tumor in 2006, it is not about strokes and not necessarily about tumors, rather about the complications from Shari’s brain surgery and the courage it took her to want to continue on. By the time Shari learns of her tumor, she is a divorced mother of two with a wonderful support network of family and friends. Shari’s operation that was supposed to require a few days of hospitalization instead resulted in a grueling nine-month stay, forever altering Shari’s life. Shari’s was blessed with a lot of friends (she would call them cranberries) willing to help her and her children out, she also had her career which was able to work with her, and two fantastic, resilient, and helpful children. Not everything went Shari’s way, in fact some things were downright dreadful and unfair. Shari takes a unique approach to finding things to be happy about and to keep herself from falling back into a deep depressive state. Shari does not tell her story in a strictly linear pattern which at times makes the story appear disjointed and confusing. Shari and her children are quite courageous and her experiences are to be learned from, just go into the book knowing that the story will be all over the place with a lot of characters the reader does not get to know. While I would have preferred a more polished, linear and in-depth book, Shari’s message is loud and clear and well worth reading about and learning.
Shari Bookstaff grew up in Milwaukee, WI, dreaming of becoming a marine biologist. She made it to California and is currently a biology professor, teaching at a community college near San Francisco. While her specialty is marine mammals, she recently expanded her course offerings to include a class on the human brain. Inspired by her own medical trials, Shari continues to merge her personal and professional interests.
Shari lives with her two children (and two dogs) in a small town just south of San Francisco, near the ocean. While her disabilities make life harder, she is determined to continue walking on the beach, attending concerts, and cheering at football games.
Shari Bookstaff’s WHEN LIFE THROWS YOU LEMONS VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ‘10 officially began on October 4 and ends on December 17. You can visit Shari’s blog tour stops here during the months of October, November and December to find out more about this great book and talented author!
I received a complimentary copy of When Life Throws You Lemons Make Cranberry Juice by Shari Bookstaff from Pump Up Your Book Promotion as part of the tour. Receiving a copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.