Book 82 of my 2015 Reading Challenge
read from November 15 - 17
Life is Short (No Pun Intended) by Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein
Summary (via the book jacket)
Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein have inspired many - family members, close friends, and coworkers, as well as the millions of people who have followed their lives on TLC's hit show The Little Couple. Though they both have dwarfism, they have knocked down every obstacle they have encountered together with a positive, can-do attitude.
Now, for the first time ever, Jen and Bill open up about their childhoods, the struggles of their teen years, and the passions that drive their success. They talk honestly about the challenges and prejudices they've faced, as well as the incredible friends, families, and doctors who have been there for them all along. They also pull back the curtain and tell us all about their romance, the joy they've found as parents, and what it's really like to have a camera recording your every move.
Jen and Bill have a simple purpose in life: make the world a better place. A must-have for fans of the show or anyone who has ever faced a difficult challenge, Life is Short (No Pun Intended) gives readers a glance at what inspires these positive people to approach life with such optimism and share their lives with the public every day.
I've never seen their show but my impression of them going into this book (based on limited magazine articles and TV commercials) was that they seem personable and a good team. My impression after reading the book is the same; they seem very compatible and nice. I might check out the show now.
I've never read a biography of a 'duo' that gave so much of before they met so I wasn't sure how it would play out. They alternated chapters, each writing from the first person, so it followed chronological order. This was very easy to follow; the only time I had a problem was when I had to step away mid-chapter and then take a minute to flip back and see who was 'talking' (writing) before I picked it up again.
They're incredibly lucky to have found such a genuine love and complete partnership. It's great that they can relate so easily to what the other has gone through. I hope they both stay healthy but I'm sure they have a plan in place if one starts struggling and needs more physical help than the other can provide.
As always, I pick up on a "fun fact" because it's always great to learn something unexpected and new...the term 'making rounds' for doctors came about because the practice started at John Hopkins and their patients' rooms were in a circle, so going around the dome examining everyone was called 'rounding'.
The reason I rated it 3 stars and not higher is because I think there were plenty of opportunities to go deeper into the struggles. I'm not judging how they chose to tell their stories but based on the description (talking honestly and the challenges and prejudices they've faced, and pulling back the curtain) I felt the hardships were glossed over. So if you're looking for an enjoyable, happy-go-lucky book, this is absolutely for you and you won't regret reading it. If you're looking for reassurance about living as a person with disability, you won't regret reading this book but may not get all the information you were looking for.
Quote from the Book
"Yes, ours is a tale of two people born with a physical disability that could have defined us. But instead we thrived and flourished, mostly because of the love and support of our families."