Those who enjoy memoirs about people who have overcome the most dire of circumstances will be moved by Running from the Mirror. A particularly inspiring read, the book chronicles the devastating events the author experienced as a newborn and how they set the stage for the rest of his life.
His face and his parents gone, Howard Shulman is turned over to the state, becoming a ward of New Jersey for the next eighteen years. During that time, he undergoes nearly a hundred operations to try to reconstruct enough of his face to allow him to survive—just barely.
Add the psychological trauma of abandonment to the physical devastation of a staph infection and you have a situation that would seem unsurvivable in so many ways—yet Shulman is a survivor, and his memoir depicts the process of reconstructing not just a face, but a life.
Shulman endures years of physical and psychological torture before finding solace in friendships, outdoor adventures, and his foster family. Though life always seems uncertain, he meets these uncertainties with a resourcefulness and determination to survive.
From homelessness and risky business schemes to breakups, nightclub ownership, and a search for answers from his past, Running from the Mirror is vivid and engrossing from start to finish. As much as Shulman is influenced by his physical appearance and his childhood traumas, he is also driven by an inner resolve to create a better life for himself.
So if it's a memoir of family, overcoming anger, evolving friendships, and confronting fate that is desired, this book delivers it all, using one-two punches that will keep readers engaged straight to the end.