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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
Nothing is as riveting, nor compelling, nor enlightening to a heightened understanding of our own existence as listening to a survivor tell about their restoration from major brain damage. Linda Nija Nations, in her highly personal and touching memoir, Remember Me, adds to the automatic interest stirred by such a devastating event (caused by falling from a horse) with a fascinating adjunct to her own long-term recovery: a life-altering new ability to connect with and understand animals – their messages, their guidance, and the meaning their own lives have for humans. Lest this sound too “flaky” or “new-agey,” keep in mind that the author possesses pre-fall, real-world, professional credentials to establish credibility and competence in assessing the nature of her own restoration. She is also candid and forthright in her telling. And besides, “there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio …”
Linda Nija Nations’ own explanation for her new connection comes quickly in Remember Me: that she is forced by her severe condition to live exclusively in the moment, something wisdom seekers strive relentlessly to do, and that animals by their very nature already do. A more immediate, non-verbal comprehension occurs in such a state that allows for direct communication between those in it. But this part of Ms. Nations’ immensely readable account is not the meat of what she has to say. As the reader begins to live the author’s renewable life, she comes to sense and understand much deeper revelations about what it means to be alive, to have identity, to have relationship to other beings, to access conscious choice for creating change; all things most of us fail to appreciate but still rely on for establishing our own worlds. Including, of course, those of any species who might be here to help.