Stella Sweeney is forty-one (and a quarter) and is struggling to come up with something profound for the memoir her publisher is anxious to receive. You see, Stella became a global sensation when the story of her time in the hospital with a rare disease landed in the hands of a celebrity. Stella was in the hospital for months with the rare disease Guilliain Barre Syndrome. Stella was paralyzed and couldn't speak - she was literally a prisoner of her own body. Her husband and two teenagers were frustrated with her lack of progress in healing and she was frustrated without anyway to communicate with them. Until Dr. Mannix Taylor, her neurologist, came along. They devised a form of communication involving blinking and soon the two of them are on the same wave length, in more ways that one. It was Mannix's patience and determination that got Stella through the worst of her illness and set her on the road to regaining her life. It was also Mannix, who had compiled their conversations for the book that now has the world eagerly waiting for a follow up. The relationship of doctor and patient starts to get complicated and as Stella starts rejoining her life she begins to question what she wants out of life and who she wants to spend the rest of her life with. Now that she is fully healed and desperate to appease her publisher, but she still doesn't know what she wants out of her life and her relationships.
Marian Keyes is another one of those authors who has me counting down the days until her next book. And let me just say that The Woman Who Stole My Life was a fabulous read. We first meet Stella after she is better and struggling to find the right words to put on paper. We know that she has an ex-husband who is a bit of an oddball and a teenage son who is - well a teenage boy. Through a series of excerpts from One Blink At A Time we get to piece together what happened to Stella during her months long stay in the hospital. The more that is revealed the more I am convinced that Stella's husband is a gigantic ass. But isn't there always at least one gigantic ass in books like this one? I loved her relationship with Mannix almost from the beginning - it was almost like something out of a fairy tale. He wasn't about to just let Stella waste away, kind of like her husband and kids were doing. Stella's story was an interesting one, I found myself most eager in getting back to the excerpts from the book because that is when we really learn about Stella. In the end things worked out the way they were supposed to and it was satisfying conclusion.
Bottom line -The Woman Who Stole My Life was a great read about a woman who comes over the most challenging of circumstances. In all seriousness, Marian Keyes shines the spotlight on a little known disease and does so in a manner that is respectful, yet honest. Definitely well worth the read.