Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Warm Springs: Traces of a Childhood at FDR's Polio Haven

Warm Springs: Traces of a Childhood at FDR's Polio Haven
by Susan Richards Shreve

Somewhat disappointed by this memoir. The author writes of her experience at FDR's Polio facility at the age of 11 through 13. It was interesting enough to learn about the facility and the disease and the types of surgeries and such, but the story itself was rather flat and disjointed.

Near the beginning of the book Shreve tells her story of racing wheelchairs down a hill with a close friend from the facility. Before finishing the story she goes back and starts at the "beginning." Of course this is a common way to tell a story but I felt Shreve did so very poorly.

Telling her anecdotes and of the child she was and strove to be, was a journey of disjointed and often confusing paths. Often a story would stray a bit off the path apparently to interject some small, insignificant information that seemed to have nothing to do with anything, other than Shreve's desire to share it. Too often I found myself wondering why am I reading this when I thought I was reading about that? And often confused at to the time line since Shreve didn't make the reference.

I give the book 3 of 5 shots, but only because the subject was of interest to me even though poorly presented.

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