In her memoir, Rebooting My Brain, Maria Ross writes about life before, during, and after a brain aneurysm that hit her unexpectedly in 2008.
A rare and lucky case, Ross follows the trajectory from the day she had a brain aneurysm until the present day, in which she is able to live life fully despite the brain damage caused by the aneurysm. We follow her journey through the emergency room, the ICU, her hospital bed, a recovery center, and, finally, her home, where she has to learn to live life again through mental and physical therapies.
Readers gain insight into what it means to go through a traumatic and nearly lethal experience. It is a story we have heard before, and the prose style is nothing new, but Ross makes the story so much her own that we cannot help but be moved and changed by it. She both tells her story and provides us with lessons learned from it. She balances the narrative of her recovery with emotional scenes involving her friends and family; she provides us with information–about characters and medical processes–so that we can better understand her story. (For example, she explains early on how her front lobe’s temporary damage affected her maturity level, so that we can see how the injury affected her intra-personal relationships.)
By the end of the book, we know who Maria is; we know too the elaborate surgeries and emotional struggles she had to go through. We come away with a sense that we have learned so much from this story: both about what it means to have a brain aneurysm, and what it means to appreciate and live life to the fullest.
Ultimately, Rebooting My Brain is a story about the devastating strike of illness and its effects. What is so moving about Ross’ account is that, though she follows a traditional route, she makes the story her own, and gives it generously to her readers. We come away from her book personally touched by her story, and personally inspired.
Reviewed by Elisa Fernandez-Arias for IndieReader