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Customer Review

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars sad story but lots of love, June 28, 2009
This review is from: Somewhere in Heaven: The Remarkable Love Story of Dana and Christopher Reeve (Mass Market Paperback)
This book leaves the reader with a warm feeling despite the tragedies it is about. Chris and Dana Reeve thrived despite terrible obstacles because they had so much love, both within themselves and from others. I would not say it is a "remarkable" love story because I think most spouses would hang in there and try to help their loved one in such a situation, though few would have anywhere near the financial resources or love and support of so many around the world like the Reeves did. Chris Reeve became a spokesman for the disabled, an icon in their court. The disabled in this country are often viewed in negative ways, people don't understand how much they suffer nor do they see how much they can love and how valuable they are as people, whether they can work and contribute to the GNP or not. Chris and Dana Reeve helped change that, and that is something that needs to change. Everyone has a right to be valued for who they are and what they can give to others. But some things in this book are disconcerting. I would have liked to see more exploration into why Chris Reeve could not accept not being able to walk. One of the things the book fails to tell is that a lot of quadraplegics really were not happy with his refusal to accept it. I think, from what little the book said about such things, that he just had an issue with not being able to fail, and so he was driven. The sad thing is that when he had some feeling come back, he was disappointed because he still couldn't walk. I think the little victories would have meant more if he could have accepted it. The other thing is the enormous cost of all the therapies to prepare him to walk again. His insurance company paid for a lot of it. Is this the best way to spend limited funds when there are people in this country who have no health care at all- pursuing fantasies? The book also fails to mention that his friend Robin Williams also paid for a lot of it for him. A few references were made to Chris saying he had to keep working to pay the bills. This can give the wrong impression - that we should expect quadraplegics to keep working somehow to pay for their own health care. In this way he did a disservice to the disabled population. I also was disappointed that Dana's tragic battle with lung cancer and death was told in comparatively few pages, almost like an afterthought. I also think the book failed to show the dark side more. A brief reference was made to Chris sometimes being "depressed and moody" but the reader for the most part gets to see only the bright side. I would have liked a more well-rounded picture of Dana and Chris. I think they both held a lot in to put on a good show, as one might have expected from actors, because the whole world was watching. In that way, having to tuck in their feelings and carry on, I think they suffered a lot too, but none of that was in the book. Their was a brief reference to Dana saying they both should see therapists. So they must have had a lot going on that they couldn't show the world. It was a disservice to the reader - and to them - not to show the whole picture. I also wonder what happened to the horse, Buck, that stopped short on him? They said he was going to be sold but nothing about whether anyone ever bought him. Maybe the horse was just doing what he had to do in a cosmic sense - set Chris Reeve on the journey that would do the world so much good. After all that is what Superman is all about - selflessly doing good for others.
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Location: Pinewood Springs, Colorado

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