Review by Crystal Otto
Banged-Up Heart is a great memoir for the non-memoir-loving reader. This story unfolds beautifully through the lovely narration. I knew the ending before listening to this audio version, but even so I enjoyed each and every word. The narration and voice clarity added even more emotion to this already emotional and inspirational story. So why would I recommend Banged-Up Heart? Why would I give it 5 stars?
Let me ask you this. Did you know Custer's Last Stand ended? Or better yet, have you ever visited Arlington Cemetery and looked at one of the really large ornate stones? Right there you have examples of knowing how something began and how something ended - but were you satisfied with that? Didn't you want to know more? After all, life isn't about the destination, it's about the journey. We all have a starting point and an ending point whether we've gotten there yet, or not...it's the circle of life. What we do with the time in the middle is what leaves it's mark on others.
Shirley Melis's Banged-Up Heart is no different. She hasn't yet reached her ending point, and I hope there will be more books between now and then, but as far as how she managed to dance through love and loss, it's truly remarkable. It's not how I would have handled things, but if it were, then there wouldn't be a story to tell. Listening to everything unfold on audible really gave the story new depth and made me feel closer to Melis. That's what's fun about listening to a memoir that reads like a novel - you get to experience things through the eyes and hearts of others. Melis's ability to forge ahead and dance is remarkable and quite admirable. Whether you've had a Joe in your life or a John - or you've experienced love once or many times, you'll want to pick up a copy of Banged-Up Heart. Even if you've never been in love, this book will help you believe in love. It's beautifully written, honest, laughable at points, well edited, and a bit unconventional, yet it's a book you'll devour and that will stick in your heart long after you've listened to the final chapter.
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