Jun 26, 2018
by Diane McCurdy, Film and Book Reviews
Unstoppable by Inga Lizdenyte is many things: an autobiography, an epistolary piece, a spiritual/inspirational guide and a tragic love story. It encompasses so many genres that it is 500 pages long! Initially it was my intention to do some heavy duty skimming but I was drawn in. The author’s down to earth, chatty style made me feel as if she were relating certain information as we were sitting down having a cup of tea together or maybe a glass of wine.
The narrative begins in Lithuania where Inga is a 19-year-old manager of an airport business lounge. She is gregarious and vivacious and after a night of drinking and partying her boyfriend gets behind the wheel and while driving way too fast his car skids on black ice and he is killed instantly. Inga’s legs are severed and her left arm is paralyzed. What follows is an excruciatingly detailed account of her recovery including numerous surgeries and unspeakable pain. Throughout, Inge never blames or wallows in pity. Her attitude is positive and she has unshakable religious faith. Her goal is to walk again. Through social media she connects with a California prostheses maker who was shortly to be in Turkey on business. They agree to meet and he is the miracle worker who gives her the ability to walk. What follows is a passionate affair. Up to this point my compassion, empathy and both pity and admiration had been with the author nor do I stand in judgment of her affair with a married man. She had suffered grievously and maybe she needed and deserved a little joy in her life. What I was uncomfortable with was she freely socialized with his wife and family who liked and trusted her. References to the deity at this point made me cringe. She feels terribly guilty and is totally disgusted with herself but it is not she who breaks off the relationship. There are more ups and downs and trips to the United States and returns to Europe before she settles down in northern California where she is not only a life coach but has a career in disability services.
The structure of this book has the unrequited love story as its heart. Other chapters are long, ruminating letters to her brother with whom she is very close. Still other are dissertations on the significance of scriptural passages as they would apply to life choices. Interspersed are black and white pictures many depicting her achievements. There is even one of her in Santa Rosa where she had given a speech. It appears Inga has found peace. Her life’s journey is a fascinating read.
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