Heidi Siefkas opens her memoir by throwing herself out of a plane. It's her first parachute jump and she approaches it with an uncommon fearlessness that leads her tandem partner to believe she's done it before; but in comparison to the year prior (during which she recovered from a broken neck and got a divorce), this free fall seems nothing. And that's the opening draw of With New Eyes, an autobiography which is (using Siefkas' own words in describing her first parachute jump) 'simply awesome'.
Against the backdrop of tragedy, new life is born. Before her free flight into change, the author was happily married; juggling home with an active career and physically fit lifestyle, and seemed to have everything. The balls of health, marriage and career were perfectly juggled. Then came the freak accident, traumatic injury, and recovery already detailed in her prior When All Balls Drop, and life changed in an instant.
With New Eyes picks up where that account left off, but new readers needn't have prior familiarity with the story in order to begin here. It's recommended for a seamless continuation, while prior fans will find much more depth and insight about the post-disaster recovery and newfound attitude that Siefkas cultivates as a result of her life-changing experiences.
In some ways this makes With New Eyes the stronger read for newcomers, who will readily absorb the processes of reinventing oneself. Within this process lies transformation, hard lessons, new perspectives, and newfound openness to experiences. Called back to her childhood home as part of this pilgrimage of self-discovery, Siefkas delves into the dating scene, naming her dates for her experiences ('Mr. Got Away', 'Mr. Con Man') and offering insights revolving around trying not only new relationships and men, but new experiences. Each one broadens her horizons and changes her perspective.
With New Eyes is recommended for readers of inspirational autobiography and memoirs who want insights into the process of self-discovery and creating a new life. Feisty and thought-provoking, it's a saga that starts from the point of losing everything and rebuilds a life, taking its readers along for an exhilarating ride in the process!