Wednesday, July 18, 2007

In an Instant by Lee and Bob Woodruff

In this well-rounded memoir, Lee and Bob Woodruff write a joint accounting of their experiences of Bob's head injury in Iraq. They describe their history as a couple, and the friendships and previous experiences which helped them to deal with this life-altering event.

Though Lee's accounts aren't as polished as Bob's, the book is still a fascinating read. (I wasn't prepared for that--I expected to feel luke-warm toward this book at best.) The Woodruffs' life together has been topsy-turvy since its beginning, so the only point in the book that I found myself impatient with was the beginning, and that was undoubtedly due to my own expectations of the book.

If I would have changed anything, I would have included more details about brain injury treatment and therapy. At one point, Lee mentions that the collaboration of the military and private sector doctors treating Bob "would ultimately have positive implications for all soldiers with traumatic brain injuries." But that's all that is ever said about it, and I would really, really like to know. (And more importantly, will that ever change how civilian head injuries are addressed/treated?)

And of course, there was a little thrill when I saw my own last name in the book. (It turns out that a relative of mine was Bob's doctor on the plane to the US.)

The book is more focused on pre-accident events than Bob's journey to recovery, which makes it seem like lighter fare than the other TBI memoirs I've read, but since the details are important and interesting, I can say that I would easily recommend this book.


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