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Reconstruction: First a Body, Then a Life Paperback – December 10, 2014
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Reconstruction: First a Body, Then a Life is a gripping memoir and an exploration of the human will to survive. … A learning experience for doctors and nurses, as well as an informative lesson for any patient facing a potentially risky procedure. Ara’s story is an example of motivation, drive, and stamina emerging when weaker individuals would give up and die. An educated winner at her best has evolved from a lethal situation that could have snuffed out her brilliant mind in its prime.” -- Clarion Review, Five Stars (out of Five)
"RECONSTRUCTION is an intensely powerful book, the tale of one woman’s spiraling path from traumatic, nearly fatal experiences to a new, stronger and radiantly beautiful self." - Indie Reader
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Ara Lucia Ashburne writes about love, anticipation, disappointment, pain, depression, anxiety and abuse. Yet, she doesn’t wallow in self-pity, and she is seeking neither sympathy nor revenge. Instead, she shares her story in a surprisingly straightforward, insightful and engaging way, offering a glimpse into the challenges posed by anxiety, depression and pain, and what she so vividly recalls from her time in a coma. More importantly, this is a book about the capacity of the human spirit to prevail and how one woman finds her way out of darkness and into the light. Moving forward with her life was neither quick nor easy. To be sure, she had a lot of encouragement and support from family, friends and doctors along the way. But in the end, it was Ara’s own desire and determination to live a productive life that propelled her forward.
Of special interest are the ways in which creativity--both day-to-day creative problem solving and, more importantly, personal and artistic expression--played a key role in her recovery. I also loved some of the activities she undertook (including a rather entertaining motorbiking adventure) to celebrate her healing and growing independence.
I hope and believe others will find encouragement and inspiration in her words and actions, and thank her for sharing her truly astounding story.
The way she manages to weave the various aspects of her journey - the infertility process we endured together, her ectopic pregnancy and subsequent major medical complications and her life after her ectopic surgery and months in the hospital kept me reading this book several nights well into the wee hours of the morning. Ara was and continues to be such a huge inspiration to me, both as an author and creative person and also in her ability to shift and always grow despite any obstacles put in her way.
This life altering story was written with such grace, respect and incredible vulnerability. Her willingness to put herself out there on the page with such honesty is such a tribute to Ara and her husband Michael. They truly labored over this book and all their painstaking hard work paid off. I know it will touch anyone who chooses it to read. You cannot read this book and not be inspired to do more with your life.
Full disclosure: I know Ara & Michael and remember how frightening this was -- she was not expected to survive, much less thrive as she (and they) have. Reading this both brought back memories and enlightened me to many parts I did not know or remember. I learned a lot and was riveted by it.