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MS Madness! by Yvonne Desousa

MS Madness!

A "Giggle More, Cry Less" Story of Multiple Sclerosis

by Yvonne Desousa

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0989972369
Publisher: SDP Publishing

DeSousa’s debut memoir chronicles her first year living with multiple sclerosis and some of the lessons she learned along the way.

DeSousa looks to infuse humor and wit into her life-changing first year with MS. Her vivid, accessible voice is a strength of her book, and she puts a humorous spin on the debilitating disease to cope with its effects on her body. While the irreverence is a hook, it also subtly serves to demystify some of the most confusing aspects of MS, a condition still misunderstood. Explanations about the effects on muscles, cognitive function and even hearing give readers insight into some of the daily struggles of those living with MS. The humor, however, sometimes overshadows the narrative arc and structure of the book. It’s wonderful to be able to hear the author’s voice so clearly, but at times it assumes a rambling, almost too-casual quality that attempts several conversational paths without sticking to one, leaving the reader a little befuddled. Likewise, many anecdotes about DeSousa’s everyday life—working at a medical office, teaching at Sunday school, eating junk food, getting over an ex-boyfriend—can be honed and trimmed. On the whole, DeSousa is personable and engaging. For instance, in a slightly too-long section about halfway through the book, the author describes cooking a recommended vegetable dish because cookies “aren’t very healthy.” The author’s grace shines through even in quieter moments, and those qualities shape the work just as much as the humor. The final chapter advises her readers that, “It is okay to be really really mad at this obnoxious, damaging, and weird disease….But moving forward is something I insist on.”

A warm, unique memoir about coping with disease.