Sunday, February 12, 2012

Review: Immortal Bird by Doron Weber

Genre: Memoir
Format: Review Copy
Source: Publisher (Simon and Schuster)
Purchase: Indie Bound

I don't even know where to start in reviewing this. Will anything I write truly convey the power of this story? Could my opinion matter so much that it would trickle out into every corner of the blogosphere and convince every reader to read this book?

No. And I sure as hell hope so.

When "reviewing" any memoir, I become my inner youngest child. I look at it as a story that needs to be told and I listen with wide open ears.
I perch closer to the edge of my seat, enraptured.
I don't judge. I don't critique.
I just listen.

Some people's stories piss me off.
Some make me incredibly happy.
Some make me insanely mad.
Above it all, I learn.

Goodreads description:

A stirring, gorgeously written memoir of a father's struggle to protect his son - a model student and gifted actor - from a rare heart condition that threatens his life.

Damon Weber is a brilliant kid - a skilled actor and a natural leader at school. Born with a congenital heart defect that required surgery when he was a baby, Damon’s spirit and independence have always been a source of pride to his parents, who vigilantly look for any signs of danger.

Unbowed by frequent medical checkups, Damon proves to be a talent on stage, appears in David Milch's HBO series Deadwood, and maintains an active social life, whenever he has the energy. But running through Damon's coming-of-age in the shadow of affliction is another story: Doron's relentless search for answers about his son’s condition in a race against time.

Immortal Bird is a searing account of a father's struggle to save his remarkable son: a moving story of a young boy's passion for life, a family's love, the perils of modern medicine, and the redemptive power of art in the face of the unthinkable.
At the "heart" of Doron Weber's story is well, a real heart; his sons (Damon). A heart that, unfortunately, did not beat long enough.
Immortal Bird tells us not only the very bumpy medical journey that Damon went through with his heart condition but it also tells us of the incredibly strong love and bond between father and son. Doron's voice throughout is one of supreme advocacy and utterly powerful love and admiration for his first born son.
As a mother of a young boy who has a heart defect, my eyes had a gloss to them the entire time I read this. They finally burst towards the end of Damon's story.

What amazed me was not only Doron's love for his son but his admirable tenacity in finding the medical answer to his son's health questions. No stone was left unturned. No article unread. No opinion left unsolicited. Doron's connections in the world of science and health allowed him to beat down doors that may not be open to many of us and demand the best care for Damon.

On top of it all, Doron also strived incredibly hard to give Damon a normal active life. Through it all, they hardly stopped taking trips, going to the theater, out to dinner, visiting relatives, hanging out with friends, camping, etc. With the amount of ups and downs they had through Damon's life, the family along with mother, Shealagh and younger siblings, Miranda and Sam, they plugged on in their active lives.

I was so touched and honored to read about this family. That's what it boils down to for me. What an amazing father for sharing his family's story with us. There was so much emotion throughout that I can not imagine the amount of bravery Mr. Weber had to face to chronicle it all again. What an amazing young man Damon was as well. With every step of the way, his spirit and drive and smarts and humor and compassion came through. I am happy that his life and journey can be shared so eloquently and powerful as it was in Immortal Bird.

Review: Recommend
I can not stress enough how much I highly recommend this book. There is so much here that I think all parents should read. Not only the powerful bond between a father and son but also the reality of the medical community and the flaws that can surface.
As parents we are the voice of our children and we never stop fighting for the rights, safety, happiness and health of the ones we love.
Doron Weber did it all for his son and I am honored to have been able to read his journey.

Author Info:

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Lisa said...

This sounds like one that will have tears running down my cheeks through most of the book! I hadn't heard of it but it's definitely going on the wish list!

StephTheBookworm said...

Wow! I think I will try to get this from the library soon.

Gina said...

Wow...I love the way you described reading this type of very true! I know I've seen it in our store recently...might just have to pull it aside next lunch break...thanks for the marvelous and moving review!