2018, 219 pages, Memoir
This poignant book is mesmerizing from the start, when we are introduced to Ms. Lambert as a child who struggles within the confines of her disability to just be a kid. Her voice is strong and unvarnished, straightforward about her own character flaws, and honest about who she is and what she stands for simply by telling her story. Disability is only a part of who she is, but as her condition worsens, she makes sweeping accommodations to her life described in short sentences that serve to underscore the brave and hopeful choices she made to continue to live a life of meaning. The paradox of this unsentimental little book is that the brevity she uses to convey the reality of her life is the very thing that evoked a rush of empathy and understanding from me as a reader. I was astounded by her love of the natural world, and the lengths she would go to in order to camp and kayak as her body became less and less cooperative with her desires to experience the world. As she goes from crutches to her first wheelchair, from owning a bookstore to hand-crafting her own books as her condition changes, we are right there with her, quietly rooting for her to experience a life in full.
The voices of reason that give conflicting opinions about what she should and shouldn’t do are but a background buzz in the book. This amazing woman of substance and intellect sorts through the B.S. and makes her own clear choices. This book may be a masterpiece.
I am proud to give “A Certain Loneliness” five stars. Bookish and Proud