Reviewed by Yvonne Schneider, Books n Treasures in Show Low
My Stroke of Luck by Kirk Douglas is one of many novels written by Kirk Douglas, including The Gift and Dance with the Devil. Mr. Douglas has starred in more than eighty three films and is also the author of two children’s books.
In the beginning of the book we find Kirk in his house in Los Angeles getting a manicure. He feels a sensation in his cheek but is only able to speak gibberish to Rosie, his manicurist. He cannot figure out what is happening to him. The cook calls his wife Anne, who is playing bridge with Barbara Sinatra. Anne hurries home and calls Kirk’s doctor. He instructs her to drive him to the hospital because it will be quicker. At the hospital they inform him it is only a minor stroke. For twenty hours, he cannot eat or drink to make sure his esophagus is not damaged by the stroke. Many stroke victims have this happen which endangers them from choking to death.
At home, a hospital bed is put in his room. The bed becomes his cocoon. He relates how he has never felt so helpless and so useless. His self-pity keeps him in his bed all day, and his memories take him back to when he was a little boy. He reflects on people that he knows that have achieved so much despite adversity; Michael J. Fox, Christopher Reeve, Tippy Gore and others. “Sometimes God gives us obstacles in life to overcome to make us stronger.”
What follows is Kirk’s reflections of his recovery and dramatic change in his life.
I found the book to be a good autobiography about an occurrence that happens to over 700,000 people each year in the United States. It is a book about an amazing man who learns compassion and the advantages of slowing down to have a richer spiritual life.
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