I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Beautiful Affliction: A Memoir is a haunting tale of one woman’s journey with a congenital heart disease and the question she has carried with her since her early childhood – would she die young? The doctors in her home country, Sweden, believe she is a hypochondriac and therefore neglect to truly listen to her. Her life is lived in constant exhaustion and fear. Her soulmate, Anders and their daughters provide Lene with unconditional love and support during their lives together. The move to the US provides both her and her husband with some answers and hope. Lene discovers she is in the final fatal stages of congenital heart disease. She has hope that she will make it through the surgery given she is working with the best in the field. But will the surgery come soon enough?
Lene Fogelberg is poetic in her description of exhaustion and the darkness that hovers just beyond reach; her words allow the reader to connect with her, through her struggles and her fears.
The words open-heart surgery hang between us like they’re out to dry, bulging in the heat, white sheets that no one wants to claim, collect, and fold. We are silent. The sound of the cicadas comes from the trees, buzzing louder, louder, louder. I get dizzy and grab Ander’s arm.
Beautiful Affliction is a more than story of a young woman’s struggle, it is also about love; the kind soulmates have for one another. It is about connections we have with others in our families.
Fogelberg does not waste words; each word has a meaning and a purpose. Fogelberg is a master storyteller as she can wring every drop of emotion from you with but a few words.
“I’m always ready to faint.” Finally, it is such a relief to be able to tell the truth, not having to pretend: Everything is fine, I’m fine.
Fogelberg’s imagery and poetic prose dominate the book in a way that allows the reader a direct connection to her; they can see through her eyes how she feels, her fears, her love. This was one book I could not put down. This is a gripping memoir that does not allow one to walk away without feeling something. This is an author that knows how to enthrall her readers.
WordsAPlenty gives this book a well-deserved 5 star rating.