by Leslie Brown

Somewhere in HeavenIn spite of the syrupy title, this audiobook reveals the excruciating ups and downs this couple dealt with after Christopher Reeve’s horseback riding accident that paralyzed him from the shoulders down in 1995.

We get the background of both players: Reeve’s preppy and privileged upbringing fraught with divorce and merged families versus Dana Morosini’s golden childhood and close family life.  This divergence presents problems for the couple in terms of commitment.  In other words, Reeve, who has two children from a decade-long previous relationship, loves Dana but cannot bring himself to risk marriage.  Until Dana finally issues an ultimatum and the two tie the knot, luckily for him.

Just three years after their marriage and the birth of their son, Will, Reeve suffers the disastrous accident that changes everything.  How the two of them manage, with immense dignity, to cope with the enormous challenges brought about by the accident is the core of this audiobook.

Unfailingly upbeat and determined, Dana Reeve supports her husband in every way imaginable while bringing up their young son, who was only three when it happened. With Chris’ full support, she works occasionally in the theater world they both love.

They are remarkable.  Turning their grief and anger toward helping other victims of paralysis, they create the Christopher Reeve Foundation.  In the face of endless setbacks, infections, and broken bones, they maintain their deep love for each other, and even manage to have a sense of humor.  This is not to say they do not have their moments of darkness, but they are able to buttress each other when it counts.

Sadly, Christopher Reeve dies of an infection in 2004.  Unbelievably, Dana, a non-smoker, is diagnosed with stage four lung cancer ten months after Reeve’s death.  Seven months later, she is dead.

Throughout the countless horrors that battered these two talented people, we are left in awe of their courage.  Superman is an apt description for them both.

This book review was contributed by  Leslie Brown, patron of the Elizabeth Taber Library.  >Reserve your copy through the SAILS Network .

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About Leslie Brown
My ocean physicist husband and I raised two wonderful sons, my proudest accomplishment. For many years I taught writing at a university, my job of a lifetime, and worked as a freelance writer for local publications. I am an ocean girl, sometimes profane, who loves animals, reading, and creative projects. I am curious about nearly everything. Loyal and caring, I make a good friend.