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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Story
I am not normally a reader of non-fiction but was intrigued by the author's blurb. The book is well written and flows beautifully. Tiffanie is a courageous person who had extremely painful body altering long term surgery to be able to do what she considered necessary to live a full life. With both tough love and compassion her parents stood by her side and supported...
Published on November 27, 2012 by Susan Miles

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but flawed
Kudos to the designers of this book's cover. It drew me in, sparked a question in my mind so that I tracked this book down and read it.

WRITING STYLE:
Simplistic. Too detailed in some places, not detailed enough in others. There were parts that seemed superfluous, and sections where the drama was HIGH but the writing wasn't good enough to capture the...
Published on January 22, 2013 by Pam


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Story, November 27, 2012
This review is from: Dwarf: A Memoir (Paperback)
I am not normally a reader of non-fiction but was intrigued by the author's blurb. The book is well written and flows beautifully. Tiffanie is a courageous person who had extremely painful body altering long term surgery to be able to do what she considered necessary to live a full life. With both tough love and compassion her parents stood by her side and supported her. From her birth to her dream marriage Tiffanie was determined to live a life where she did not have to scoot down stairs on her backside and be able to brush her hair. The book covers her schooling, friendships, college and professional life. I was overwhelmed by the work she did ensuring that our military was supplied with care packages. The book is a fast read and an honest read - all was not a bed of roses. I highly recommend DWARF as a true story of not only overcoming adversity but of the author's determination to make her own decision about her own body.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book - really hit home, November 28, 2012
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This review is from: Dwarf: A Memoir (Paperback)
As a parent of a child with a skeletal dysplasia, I was so excited to read this. It is really great to see a book on having short stature, outside of the world of the LPA and by someone who does not define herself by her stature. I was just thrilled by the first few pages where she talks about how ridiculous it is to label someone, as people of short stature are just that - people!! There's no need to give them a label. As a mom faced with the same decisions that the author's mom faced, this was an incredible read and I can't wait to share it with the rest of my family. I read it in one sitting - written very well and a page turner.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making a Place for Yourself - Being the Best You Can Be, August 3, 2013
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This review is from: Dwarf: A Memoir (Paperback)
I have just finished Tiffanie DiDonato's Book Dwarf a Memoir. I have to say how much I loved this book, and found a kindred spirit.

Through the difficult years of Tiffanie's surgery and lengthening; things were hard, life was hard. But, bravo to Tiff's mum to see that there is an opportunity to change Tiffanie's life for the better and she acted on it. You know, it is easy to say that this procedure sends waves through the dwarf community because of the perceived message that being small (or dwarf)is some thing you should not change, but to embrace. I think that rational stops when in your heart it is about making a better quality of life.

Being a dwarf myself; had this procedure been around when I was Tiffianie's age my parents may have opted it for me as well. Not for betterment, to deny who I am. But, as common practice to make my life easier and not so dependent on others. When I needed orthopedic surgery to make my life less painful, they didn't bat an eye. Even now doctors will give you the risk (of any orthopedic surgery) and you know that is the risk parents take for their children to make their life easier, or for the teen who knows that having independence in their future is achievable.

I have been friends with many dwarfs and their stature. Tiffanie has diastrophic dysplasia. I am 4'2" and I would most likely towered over her (before lengthening) If you can imagine this: At all times there has to be someone to assist in your every day situations or adaptive things like stools, grabbers, and personal items. Not that I am saying that to be a Diastrophic dwarf is incompatible to independent living, it is just a whole lot harder. But, if you could find another way to help you live better, I know I would go for it. (I am too old now!)

It is not about "being taller",or for the looks. It is about being able to carry a bag of groceries in your house (or in Tiffanie's case a bag of trash)

This surgery very well may become the new "norm" and people best be prepared for this. Tiffanie tells of the pain, the lonely times, the loss in such matter of fact and truthful ways. At one point I was moaning myself reading one of her defining moments.

The book is effective because it rings so true. It really doesn't soften the blows. I know how difficult things can be for parents; they do not want their kids to suffer but looking at the whole picture, Tiffanie's mom was very astute. If anyone thinks her mother didn't suffer right along with Tiffanie in those quiet alone times than you really cannot value the strength that comes with a journey like this.

If I were to pick one word about this book I would say it is an inside look at someone who is very brave. Becoming who you know you can be, is a noble but often difficult path.

You will cheer, even cry, and can I say blush too! This is all about life and the challenges, joy and sadness. It is a memoir of a woman who dreamed big. A woman not afraid to try and be determined to build the best life she could.

Tiffanie DiDonato is someone I admire. What a treat to read a memoir and realize that the writer is the hero of her own show. Entertaining yes, engaging yes, meaningful, yes. A book that will change you - Absolutely.

Ginny Sargent
New England
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and inspiring, December 8, 2012
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This review is from: Dwarf: A Memoir (Paperback)
When is it right to accept what life hands us, and when is it right to change ones course? When is it right to put a child through pain and risks of medical complications? What benefits are worth horrible pain, social isolation, and the loss of a good part of adolescence? Ms DiDonato's new memoir, Dwarf, addresses these questions and answers them beautifully - for herself. I appreciated and enjoyed many things about this book, perhaps most of all the fact that she never slipped into generalizing her decisions to anyone else. She brought her friends and family to life with honest, revealing stories that stayed compassionate to the difficult and heart-rending decisions that were made about her and around her. This is a lovely book that is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking, and serves as a great reminder of the ease with which most of us go about our daily lives.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an inspiration!, December 13, 2012
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This review is from: Dwarf: A Memoir (Kindle Edition)
Dwarf was happy, sad, emotional and made you feel like you were living alongside Tiffanie through her struggles. She is a courageous young woman who has a gift with words. Her story is told with raw emotion and honesty. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her journey.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Dwarf" should be on your "must read" list!, December 11, 2012
This review is from: Dwarf: A Memoir (Paperback)
I picked up this memoir on a Saturday afternoon and immediately sat down and read it cover to cover. Tiffanie's story was so incredible. I felt like I was sitting there with her sharing a cup a coffee while we talked about life. She reminded me that sometimes you have to fight for what you want, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Her courage is inspiring, her frankness refreshing, and I rejoiced that she got a happy ending... more accurately, a happy beginning! Definitely one of those books you never want to put down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and compelling, March 14, 2013
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groupworker (Midwest United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dwarf: A Memoir (Kindle Edition)
I mainly read memoirs and I usually judge from the first few pages if the book is 1) well written (many memoirs are not) and 1) if is it a unique story. I am particularly drawn to those who have dealt with challenges, however, there are just too many memoirs about abusive parents or alcoholism. Tiffanie's story is overall an excellent memoir. It's a life experience that few can understand. She explains what it is like to not only feel different, but to really be different in terms of what is considered normal in our society. A good memoir also has an element of wanting more - specifically more about her high school best friend, more about her father's family. Yet, I would rather read a memoir where I want more, than feel overwhelmed or bored by the story. Her tenacity is remarkable and I hope the true happiness she found as a young adult continues. Immediately after reading the book I watched a few of her interviews online. Dwarf is not a masterpiece memoir. It is an easy read that will stay with you for years to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very interesting, December 29, 2012
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This review is from: Dwarf: A Memoir (Kindle Edition)
I saw Tiffanie interviewed on TV and decided to read her book. It was very interesting and inspiring. I hope my daughters will read it too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible story, December 19, 2012
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This review is from: Dwarf: A Memoir (Kindle Edition)
An amazing story about a condition with which most of us are totally unfamiliar. The author's courage is so inspiring.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Moving Story of a Height-Challenged Woman, January 20, 2014
This review is from: Dwarf: A Memoir (Paperback)
This is one of the books that almost lost itself on my bookshelf because I found it a bit slow-moving at first. I put it aside and just recently was sorting out my books and decided to give it another try. I was so happy that I did!

I think that perhaps the first few chapters didn't have a strong impact on me because Tiffanie DiDonato didn't seem to have a terrible life as a very short person. Children would ask her, "Why are you so short?" But other than the teacher who actually comes out and uses the D word with her, she seems to be treated fairly well. Her parents are wonderful--her mom being the stronger one in a way and her dad the more fragile one, the one who suffers from watching his precious daughter try to handle life as a little person.

DiDonato, with the help of her ghost writer, shows us how she had to go through life using instruments to reach things, standing on stools just to reach the bathroom basin. Just the logistics of her day-to-day life are pretty mind-boggling. But, still, these are the chapters that were a little tedious for me. This is probably where I got bogged down the first time I tried to read it. But after she decides to undergo several surgeries to lengthen her bones, this is when the book becomes more exciting for me. I am fascinated by stories of people who must be confined in any way--I've read many prisoner-of-war stories. So to read about the pins in her legs (or later on, the full-body cast after a fracture) was like reading about the shackles on prisoners. The pain she felt, the heat, the itchiness--omigosh--I was there with her. I was sweating out those unbearably slow trips of hers with her walker from bedroom to bathroom.

But this is not only a story about medical miracles, there are a couple of love stories--a bittersweet friendship and a beautiful romance with a very happy ending. I cried quite a lot--this is a heartwarming story of a young woman who goes through an excruciating ordeal and comes out of it very well. We tend to take it for granted if we can perform such simple tasks as taking out the trash. This is one chore, among many, that DiDonato couldn't have done before her surgeries and was absolutely thrilled to do after she became mobile. I love reading stories that make me feel grateful for everyday things. I felt great compassion for this young woman and was rooting for her all the way and for her wonderful parents--each so loving and so helpful in their own ways.
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Dwarf: A Memoir
Dwarf: A Memoir by Tiffanie DiDonato (Paperback - November 27, 2012)
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