A compelling true story of a logger who perseveres after an accident leaves him paralyzed.
Scott Remington lives a pleasant life: Married with two children, he runs a logging business, and, in his free time, hunts, snowmobiles and drinks beer with friends. But when a tree lands on him and severs his spinal cord, his life is irrevocably changed. After several life-threatening operations, he is left paralyzed from the waist down. While putting together the story of Scott’s rehabilitation, Montgomery interviewed dozens of Scott’s friends, family members and therapists; the candor and frankness of everyone involved is one of the more remarkable aspects of the book, particularly when Scott discusses the sexual difficulties he and his wife (who, in a heartbreaking development, eventually leaves him) encounter after the accident. Though he generally avoids wallowing in the unfairness of it all, it’s understandable that Scott indulges in a bout of self-pity after the separation from his wife. Eventually, though, he thinks about the people he met in the rehab clinic–the same clinic where Christopher Reeve rehabilitated–and decides to do something to help. With the assistance of his family and the local community, Scott organizes a benefit for Christopher Reeve’s foundation–despite the small size of his Adirondack town, they raise more than $100,000 over the course of four years. (Though the author never specifically mentions the controversy over stem-cell research, readers will be keenly aware of it throughout the book; Scott’s story is worth hundreds of editorials on the subject.) Montgomery’s research is impressive, but the writing tends toward melodrama and clichÃ©. Readers may wish that the prose would simply step aside and let Scott’s heartwarming story take over.
Occasionally overwritten and melodramatic, but truly inspiring.