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When All Balls Drop: The Upside of Losing Everything
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When All Balls Drop: The Upside of Losing Everything

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Heidi Siefkas was a happily married, globetrotting professional who seemingly had it all—until a tree limb in New York’s Hudson River Valley struck her down, breaking her neck and leaving her unconscious. Suddenly, life as she knew it stopped. She lost her independence. She lost her career. She watched her marriage disintegrate as she confronted a trail of devastating lies ...more
Paperback, 270 pages
Published September 2014 by Wheatmark (first published August 5th 2014)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Heidi had a life she was very happy with - she traveled around the world with her job, and was happily married to a man that she was deeply in love with. Things were going perfectly, until the day that she found out not everything in her life was as it seemed and, when heading out the door to go for a walk to calm herself and get her mind straight, a branch from a tree fell on top of her. The results: a severe head injury and a broken neck. The next thing she remembers is waking up in a hospital ...more
Dusti Dasilva
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was refreshing. When I first was asked to review it, I admit I was a little hesitant, as this isn’t my type of book. But once I started reading I couldn’t put it down. I found so many similarities in this book with my life like my husband is Brazilian, a well known chef here where we live, his mother hates me (not because of my religion but because I’m American we will get to that later ;) I have many Brazilian friends who say they would never marry a Brazilian man, so when I hit that ...more
Sage Adderley-Knox
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It feels a bit twisted to say how much you loved a memoir written by a woman who shares her tragic story of breaking her neck and ending her marriage, but it was truly an inspirational story. Heidi Siefkas writes about a gigantic tree limb that fell on her head resulting in a broken neck and facial injuries. Prior to the accident she had come across evidence of her husband cheating on her for over a year.

This memoir is about Heidi’s recovery in all the ways you can imagine – physical, mental, an
Book Review originally pusbliehd here:

In short vignettes, Heidi Siefkas tells the story of how she turned from a happily married woman who seemingly had it all to a woman on the edge of despair, in When All Balls Drop. After being struck down by a tree limb in the Hudon River Valley, she broke her neck. She loses everything – her career, her marriage.

But she didn’t give up. She kept on fighting, not just for her physical health, but also her mental health
Oh My Bookness
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
A inspirational memoir like no other...just when everything is looking bleak, dark, and their is no coming back out of it there to say...a light at the end of the tunnel. Every day someone is facing challenges in the streets, at home, personal and work, or just trying to get out of a tricky situation. I find as a society with all are own problems going on we forget to appreciate those before us, with us, with you.

Heidi had to overcome some physical, mental, and downright personal obsta
Amanda Mitchell
I happily received an autographed copy of When All Balls Drop by Heidi Siefkas after winning a GoodReads Giveaway last week. Mostly the book is about her accident, dealing with her husband’s infidelity, her recovery, and her experiences in those moments. It isn't a philosophical book or a guide on how to recover, but a real story. Human frailties are apparent and the book isn't sugar-coated.

I read it today in one sitting. She’s a fantastic writer and her story read as if you are sitting beside h
Wisconsin Alumni
Heidi Siefkas ’99

From On Wisconsin Magazine, Spring 2015:
Five years ago, a tree limb weighing nearly one thousand pounds struck Heidi Siefkas ’99 and broke her neck. During her multi-month recovery, she learned that her husband was leading a double life, and her employer forced her to resign.

The reflection period, dramatic perspective shift, and life changes that followed her loss of independence, marriage, and career produced a mantra called “Looking up!” and a hopeful, humorous memoir c
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be inspirational without all of the self-help rhetoric many books have. The witty vignettes had me reading on to see what would happen next, laughing out loud, and being able to relate to some of her situations, as I had back surgery in 2009. The best part of the book is the energy and attitude she conveys, she is upbeat and positive and chose to let these situations change her perspective and has created her own new path to freedom and enjoying life.
This is a great book an
Bethany Higgins
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Talk about an amazing story that inspires others to reflect. The author lost everything in a traumatic accident and fought back piece by piece. This is what Eat,Pray,Love was for relationships, but When All Balls Drop deals with three big life factors all simultaneously: health problems, failed marriage, and loss of career.

The author's writing style is very modern, similar to blog posts, making the read easy and hard to put down. After reading, I bought another copy for a girlfriend. Bravo!
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I met the author, Heidi on a trip to Italy that I ventured on this past year. When she mentioned her book, "When All Balls Drop: The Upside of Losing Everything", I knew I had to read it. Without any hesitation, I read the whole book, cover to cover on my trip back to NY from Rome.

This is an amazing true story about how she overcame trials and tribulations that "fell" upon her. Heidi's determination, perseverance and sense of humor are demonstrated throughout this beautiful story. If you are lo
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara Roehl Rausch
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A great book about a successful woman who in the blink of an eye lost everything -- yet somehow kept a positive attitude through it all and is sharing her story. It certainly puts the day to day issues into perspective and how one should enjoy and appreciate life.

Highly recommended!!
Noel Smith
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I sat down and read it in one sitting. With short segments, you get addicted to know what happens next. The quirky humor and candor immediately endear you to the author. You pull for her through her traumatic accident and marriage.

When All Balls Drop is refreshing and inspiring.

Heidi Marleau
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
A quick read. I usually like a memoir of people overcoming adversity and this was interesting with the Wisconsin connection.
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Powerful story. Enjoyed it.
May 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I saw the synopsis for this book I desperately wanted to read it having been in a similar situation. From a clinical standpoint (for lack of a better word) it's well-written but something is missing for me and I can't figure out what that is. I just really found myself disliking the main character (I know she's not really a character but this is a story). I don't know what it is but I was disappointed and feel like I was left wanting something that wasn't delivered.
Sheila Pritchard
May 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Sort of interesting but didn't really grab me.
Lynda Dickson
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ages 16+
Shelves: nonfiction
Imagine taking the garbage one day and getting struck by a falling tree limb. That's exactly what happens to Heidi Siefkas. The result - she ends up in hospital, unconscious for five days, and with the possibility of being paralyzed or severely handicapped. However, luck is on her side, and she is discharged after nine days, with a broken neck and a full body brace. What follows is an account of the harrowing physical and mental therapy Heidi undergoes on her road to recovery, with the support o ...more
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
I honestly don't understand all of the glowing reviews for this book. I listened to a podcast with the author Heidi Siefkas as the guest and the conversation intrigued me. As a result, I looked up Heidi and was looking forward to reading this book, hoping it would be inspiring and offer some words of wisdom. Unfortunately, this book fell short of all of my expectations and could have been wittled down to a magazine article. The short chapters kept me reading in the hopes that the following chapt ...more
Rabid Readers Reviews
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was given a copy of this memoir in exchange for my review.

Memoirs are often a difficult animal to review. Things that seem implausible can, in fact happen. The adage, “truth is stranger than fiction” was coined with purpose. Heidi’s run of bad luck defies logic to the point that there’s no doubt it indeed happened. Her struggle reads as unenviable and real and is told without resentment and self-pity that would have been understandable and well earned in light of the tale related. Readers will
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
A bit repetitive, but I liked the message, looking up.
Casey Vance
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Interesting that it was a local person from GET
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was awesome ! .Thank you Heidi for changing my outlook on life . Look up , it makes perfect sense !
Fred Fredricks
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
! Inspirational story of the character of human nature. A young woman beset by major hurdles finds the strength to recover.
rated it did not like it
Jan 19, 2016
Susan Lucius
rated it really liked it
Apr 01, 2017
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2015
Sandra Wallace
rated it it was amazing
Nov 06, 2014
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Hiya. I'm Heidi Siefkas (Seef-kas)! Although I'm originally from small-town Wisconsin (You betcha), I currently call South Florida home. However, as an adventurer, I'm rarely home long. I'm also author of three non-fiction books: When All Balls Drop, With New Eyes, and Cubicle to Cuba. You can connect with me at, Facebook, and Twitter.

I invite you to share photos on social me

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