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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Place of Us: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Courage is a work of non-fiction written in an autobiographical and memoir style by author Karen Draper. Taking important lessons in courage, perseverance, and love from the author’s own life, the focus of the work is on her experience as the mother of a son with special needs. Preston struggles to live from the moment he is born, and we journey with Draper and her husband Sam through his development and encounters with many people despite never being able to walk and talk. What results is a powerful story about love and loss with a message for the future of special needs care and education.
Author Karen Draper offers an honest and emotive account that opens this memoir’s true heart for the reading audience to witness. Any parent who has experienced loss or difficulty in raising a child with severe medical needs will relate at once to the ups and downs of the Drapers’ lives, but also the incredible moments of joy and triumph which they experience through Preston and the very different approaches which are needed to allow him to live a full life. The narration feels like a friend explaining their story but also features the most beautiful visual description which creates imagery and atmosphere to match the emotional rollercoaster perfectly. Overall, The Place Of Us: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Courage is not just an inspiring and emotive life story, but a very well written and immersive memoir that’s not to be missed.