In A Life Worth Living, Lorrie Kruse shares a look at an ordinary man becoming exceptional - not because of injury, but largely through deciding on who and what he values most.
A Life Worth Living by Lorrie Kruse
Publisher Storyteller Publishing
Length: Full Length (392 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rated: 5 stars
Review by Snapdragon
A Surefire Way to Jinx Your Future…
...is to perfectly map it out and then expect your journey to go as planned. Twenty-six year old home builder, Matthew Huntz, is on his way to making his dreams a reality—gorgeous fiancée, perfect job, and the house he’s always wanted. Until the accident. Paralyzed from the chest down, with his life’s GPS offline, Matt is forced to recalculate his path in life.
Matthew wakes to a different world...or perhaps, more correctly, as a different person, in a world he will see forever from a different perspective.
Matthew's sweet, strong personality is evident at the outset. Any reader will quickly feel an emotional attachment to him. We soon grasp details of his history and understand him to be a good person... and yet, we are there at the start of his personal journey. His growth is partly from needing to cope, but also, from rising to meet challenges. His spinal cord injury changes his choices, but not who he is.
This story isn't what you might expect; not at all. I set off, I admit, with trepidation because of the title. I thought this would be a story about disability, about heart-tugging yet predictable struggles and overcoming. Yet, it's not: it's neither predictable nor precious. It's not about disability.
Matthew's injury doesn't change the people around him: for example, it doesn't make his girlfriend a better or more genuine person. He still has to work, and must cope with people who antagonize him, (in fact, the believability of characters, in general, contributes enormously to this work). Quality conversations move the story along and reveal a lot about various individuals. If I had one complaint, it's about the total number of characters - some lesser players contribute little and might have been omitted.
Life and its various incidences are what change Matt, not his disability. It never forces him to become a different person, he decides that himself... and his choices bring him to second chances. Abby is a woman who understands disabilities -- but more importantly, about the need for two people to be sincere.
This is Matthew's story. It's about his family and his dreams and his love. Ultimately, this is a wonderful and moving story that shares both disappointment and achievement, joy and pain.
Ms. Kruse has a straightforward writing style that makes for comfortable reading. She presents injury and life struggle details in a realistic (and perhaps uncompromising) manner. Do read.