The Bottom Line
- Reads like a novel with tips added in.
- Very well written. You will likely learn a lot about literature, esp Milton, in reading this book.
- Writer is intimately acquainted with the trials and tribulations of a chronic neck pain sufferer.
- Excellent tips and insights.
- You get to know the author and her family and friends. Heartwarming in places.
- The writing style changes suddenly when topic turns to pain management tips learned along the way.
- Some of the introductory material about her life before the pain came back seems to drag.
- Title: The Body Broken
- Author: Lynne Greenberg
- Publisher: Random House
- Length: 220 pages
Guide Review - Book: The Body Broken
Greenberg divides the book into a prologue, two main parts, an epilogue and an appendix containing selected poems on the topic of pain.
A six-page prologue describes the inciting incident that would plague Greenberg's life with excruciating neck pain. This narrative is a page turner that gives the details as to what happened that fateful day.
Parts I and II are prefaced with quotes from Milton's Paradise Lost, the author's scholarly specialty. At the beginning of each chapter are topic relevant quotes from a variety of poets and writers. The appendix contains poems written by Greenberg and by others.
The first chapter help us get to know Greenberg by describing her home and family life. She talks about how she met her husband, her relationship with her children and what her neighborhood is like.
Later on, the author begins to delve into the narrative of when, 22 years after the motorcycle accident that fractured her neck, her pain came back with a vengeance. With this description, we get a few lessons in literature. Greenberg quotes from classic poetry to provide a launching pad for an explanation of her thoughts and feelings as she was informed by the physician's assistant that her neck was still broken. For example, by contrasting her situation with Milton's, she reflected on how she had ignored some very telling symptoms experienced in the weeks leading up to the appointment.
For the rest of the book, we travel with Greenberg through doctor, diagnosis and treatment hunting, neck surgery, and a stay in a residential pain management facility. She admits she does not expect to find a cure for her neck condition but is constantly on the lookout for effective management techniques. Coming full circle, Greenberg commits to living life to the fullest. She has many tips, which she generously shares.