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Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Joy Ride: My One-Legged Journey to Self-Acceptance by Karen Witt Daly is an autobiography written by Karen in her own words. Joy Ride is a story of hope and healing. In the book, Karen describes her childhood, which was a typical one in the mid-twentieth century. Her life changes, however, when she is diagnosed with cancer at a young age. In spite of treatment and radiation, the decision has to be made to amputate her entire right leg and pelvic area at the age of 11. Naturally, the physical wounds heal faster than the emotional ones and, in this book, Karen describes her school life after her surgery, her college years, the constant challenges from her disability, the psychological toll it took on her at an age where all one wants to do is fit in with their peers, her eating disorder and the resulting problems from that, her relationships, sex, and marriage, and eventually her acceptance and even embracing of her disability and learning to live a full and loving life.
Joy Ride: My One-Legged Journey to Self-Acceptance is a well-written book and I think it would be a great source of inspiration for anyone going through similar struggles, especially young people struggling with illness or disability. Karen’s writing style is simple and straightforward and, essentially, this is a story of healing from cancer and all of its effects from a young age. Karen seems to be lucky to at least have a fairly good family and friends support system, which is crucial in these types of cases. If anything, this highlights the importance of healthy and close connections with people to be able to find joy in life in any circumstances. Karen herself comes across as a strong and level-headed woman and her story is an inspiring one.