Friendship, Strength, and Recovery After Boston’s Worst Day
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A survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing attacks reflects on the trio of fearless individuals who saved her life and rescued countless others.

Sdoia passionately recalls the events leading up to and immediately following the terrorist attack, a day that “went from being pure celebration to desperate survival.” She shares her history as a family girl drawn away to California for several years but always returning home to Massachusetts to friends and family, and she describes herself as having a “complicated relationship with running.” Yet standing on the sidelines of the Boston Marathon that day, the seasoned 5K runner became so energized and rejuvenated by the runners’ excitement and sheer determination, she promised herself to enter the race the following year. After her right foot was blown off by one of two pressure-cooker bombs planted near the finish line, she was immediately tended to by Northeastern University student Shores Salter, Boston police officer Shana Cottone, and a nearby physician, all who assisted in tying a makeshift tourniquet around her mutilated leg. She was raced to the hospital by firefighter Mike Materia, who stayed with her throughout the entire ordeal and beyond. With her leg medically amputated just above the knee, the author’s agonizing physical and psychological recovery began. She also established a significant connection with Materia, who stayed in constant contact as she was rehabilitated back to health, and they became swept into an enduring romantic relationship. Each of the three who participated in Sdoia’s valiant rescue is fondly profiled, showing his or her personality as an honest, hardworking, and unexpectedly heroic Bostonian. The author considers all three as “family,” and her book spins the events of that tragic afternoon into a tapestry of solidarity, unity, love, and selfless humanity. Aside from instances of repetitiveness, the book is heartfelt and honest. Though the bombers “took away that day,” she writes, “we’re taking it back.”

A moving testimonial to the transformative power of human compassion and connection amid catastrophe.

Pub Date: March 28th, 2017
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2017


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