About My Glory Was I Had Such Friends
Hardcover: 352 pages
Published: June 2017 by Harper Wave
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
Goodreads Description: In this moving memoir about the power of friendship and the resilience of the human spirit, Amy Silverstein tells the story of the extraordinary group of women who supported her as she waited on the precipice for a life-saving heart transplant.
Nearly twenty-six years after receiving her first heart transplant, Amy Silverstein’s donor heart plummeted into failure. If she wanted to live, she had to take on the grueling quest for a new heart—immediately.
A shot at survival meant uprooting her life and moving across the country to California. When her friends heard of her plans, there was only one reaction: “I’m there.” Nine remarkable women—Joy, Jill, Leja, Jody, Lauren, Robin, Valerie, Ann, and Jane—put demanding jobs and pressing family obligations on hold to fly across the country and be by Amy’s side. Creating a calendar spreadsheet, the women—some of them strangers to one another—passed the baton of friendship, one to the next, and headed straight and strong into the battle to help save Amy’s life.
Empowered by the kind of empathy that can only grow with age, these women, each knowing Amy from different stages of her life, banded together to provide her with something that medicine alone could not. Sleeping on a cot beside her bed, they rubbed her back and feet when the pain was unbearable, adorned her room with death-distracting decorations, and engaged in their “best talks ever.” They saw the true measure of their friend’s strength, and they each responded in kind.
My Glory Was I Had Such Friends is a tribute to these women and the intense hours they spent together—hours of heightened emotion and self-awareness, where everything was laid bare. Candid and heartrending, this once-in-a-lifetime story of connection and empathy is a powerful reminder of the ultimate importance of “showing up” for those we love.
About Amy Silverstein
Amy Silverstein is the author of Sick Girl, which won a “Books for a Better Life Award” and was a finalist for the Border’s Original Voices Award. She earned her Juris Doctor at New York University School of Law, has served on the Board of the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS), and is an active speaker and writer on women’s health issues and patient advocacy. She lives in New York.
My deepest apologies to TLC book tours for being a serious slacker in actually finishing the books they’ve sent me this month. Or at least, finishing them before my assigned tour date, since I fully intend to finish them both this week. But anyway.
Books like My Glory Was I Had Such Friends are hard to review. Memoirs are life stories, so how do you in essence say, hey that’s a good life story or hey that’s a bad life story? I can’t, anyway. So that leaves technical aspects, which isn’t always easier and can even make you feel like a jerk. Honestly, I’m struggling a little with this one, so bear with me as I try to piece together my thoughts.
As far as subject matter goes, there’s no denying that Amy Silverstein is a remarkable woman – though I suspect that’s the last thing she wants to hear. I’ve learned so much about organ donation that I never knew, and I’m thankful for that. If that’s a cause you’re interested in (or if you just like medical stuff), definitely pick up My Glory Was I Had Such Friends.
Technically speaking, I’ve really been interested in what I’ve read so far. Silverstein writes well enough, and though the chapters are a bit long, they’re engaging. There is a fair bit of background in the beginning to sift through – I’m only now at the point where I’m starting to read about her hospital stay, and I’m about 150 pages in. That isn’t a fault, as I think the background is critical to setting it up.
I’m anxious to read more, because I’m hopeful there’s quite a bit of growth coming. Not just from Amy, but from each of the women who stay by her side. As someone younger than Amy and her friends, I kinda see My Glory Was I Had Such Friends as an instruction manual for how to be a better friend. I’m not sure if that’s the intent or not. Regardless, all I can say at this point is, how lucky would we all be if we had such women in our lives?
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Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Harper Wave for the chance to participate in this tour!