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3.62  ·  Rating details ·  2,393 ratings  ·  77 reviews

An inspiring true story about the twists of fate that challenge a couple’s expectations of love, marriage, and reliance.

Jennifer Acker and her husband had been married for eleven years when she was blindsided by a mysterious and undiagnosed incapacitation. Accustomed to their independent routines, they will have to reform both their lives to accommodate the enervating

Kindle Edition
Published October 8th 2019 by Amazon Original Stories
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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,393 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Perfect for sick folks of all kinds, regardless of specific diagnosis. Jennifer Ackerman writes so beautifully of the experiences of being sick, which especially having been stuck in the hospital having to endlessly try to find out my feelings and experiences to words, is an incredible and rare gift. I found myself highlighting so much in this book and I think other folks, newly diagnosed or battling chronic illness for years will especially gain a lot from this. Hard for me to say how much and ...more
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got this little gem through prime reading. I knew nothing about the author before downloading it and only briefly glanced at the synopsis. I thought I could it give it a try, since it’s short and it’s free. I am glad I did. It was such a beautiful, satisfying, albeit very short, read!

The author is telling the story of her illness and how it transformed her life and marriage. What makes it so compelling is her self-awareness and her extremely pleasant and intelligent manner of writing. No self
Marie S
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Good book, fascinating

The author drew me in to her own story. She never packaged this as a poor me, poor us type of situation. She just laid it out. We learned how difficult it is to deal with doctors who haven’t a clue how to help a condition. We learned we have to be our own advocate when it comes to our health.
Ultimately, this story is really a love story, one from which we could all learn. Certainly not “smarmy” in any way, just grown up, matter of fact, adulting maturely. Figuring it out t
Rating: 2-2.5 stars

This is a fine book if you're looking for a quick read and happen to have Amazon Prime. It reads more like an extended blog post than a novella because it's pretty surface-level. It's an interesting story with potential, but it just never really clicked for me. It was hard to connect on an emotional level, and because it didn't really address any of the issues in depth, it wasn't as compelling as it could have been.
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Though this is a compelling story, this too short novella did not capture the emotions and/or magnitude of the severe medical trauma this couple experienced. Definitely needed more...
Keri Franklin
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Chronic Fatigue

This is a short read that probably affects the the number of stars I gave. I have a family member with very similar issues. So, I will share it with her. When a person has a chronic illness of any kind, you need help. She and her husband both had an illness and they were able to connect and support each other. That’s a gem. I enjoyed the short read.
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very quick mini auto bio about the author’s sudden and inexplicable chronic illness and her search for a diagnosis. Because I suffer from chronic pain, I certainly understood everything she was going through. I would have appreciated a longer story with more details, but still very good.
Mar 27, 2020 rated it liked it
A very cute story

I loved the way the author described her illness and the challenges that she had to face with her husband with their illnesses. From this story, we can learn that love is about sacrifice and the well-being of you partner. We can learn that love grow in difficult times, and we must put our effort to embrace it.
I did not put four stars because even though it was a very cute story, it was very plain and it didn’t move me the way that I was hoping.
Kana Wu
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The book is about the author’s journey on weathering her illness called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronis Fatigue Syndrome, or it’s known by its acronym ME/CFS. In her book, she described that ME/CFS is a disease that causes both mental and physical fatigue, gastrointestinal and immune problems, sleep disruption, widespread muscle and joint pain, dizziness, and susceptibility to secondary disorders (p.4)

While she is facing slow recovery, six months later, her husband begins to feel a spike of pa
Kathleen H. Taylor
Mar 17, 2020 rated it liked it
It is just okay.

Left wondering about the issues which weren't discussed in enough detail, I felt. I understand the renewed love but the book didn't seem to show enough details as to how they worked together to help each other. Maybe that is the point when there is no known cures.
João Pedro
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Delightfully unsettling

The book brings an accurate point of view of an ill person with a life-altering condition. The needs, the thinking and the drama feel genuine. Also the perfect writing gives the reader a pleasant voyage trough the efforts lived by the author.
Jul 01, 2020 added it
I *wish I could give this 5 stars and ask everyone I know to read it! It’s painful I don’t feel that way.

I think the ability to really describe the life changing illness of M.E./CFS & it’s impact on your life, (in a way that will deeply resonate with people - especially non patients) is obviously difficult & I felt this book just really struggled to connect.

But hey, it’s 36pgs total & free on Amazon. If you want to learn a little more about how some people live, you can still check it out.
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another great short story
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a prime book and I did not know that it was an autobiography of the author’s life with a debilitating disease. And, further into the story, her husband gets diagnosed with a frozen shoulder and in a great deal of pain.two educated, bright individuals having been struck within a short time of each other and trying to figure out how to cope with their new lives and their illnesses. Fast reading as it is a short book . Felt very sorry for them but love conquers all and in spite of their pa ...more
Apr 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
More of a long blog post than a book. I went in hoping to learn more about chronic pain and the ways I can support the folks in my life. Instead I left being reminded how even unforeseen Illnesses aren’t an equalizing force. The amount of privilege the author has and the lack of acknowledgment is jaw-dropping difficult to read. The book follows our author’s challenges getting a proper diagnosis for her condition as she visits several specialist around her small town in western Massachusetts. Dif ...more
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Love loved this reading. Growing together is magical. So hard to depend on someone. Always feeling indebted. Only to find next you are the giver and all is well
Mar 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
Heartwarming story on how illness brought a couple closer together, though it would have been better as a blog post.
This was interesting. I chose this book based solely on the cover for my book bingo, but it turned out to be an adorable little romantic journey.

Jennifer and her husband N. were active, liked to travel and enjoyed going out until out of nowhere, Jennifer is exhausted beyond all belief. Can’t even get out of bed or focus on a book for a few minutes. Her husband gets snippy, and eventually learns that he needs to step up and care for his wife as she recovers. (The turning point when he reads her
Apr 05, 2020 rated it liked it
This reads like a nonfiction article in a women’s magazine

This short piece should have been classified as health-related nonfiction or autobiography. This longish but well-written article is about the author’s journey to find a diagnosis and treatment for her debilitating symptoms—which is ME/CFS.

Unlike most people with ME/CFS, the author has a “peripheral connection” to a renowned medical expert and a former FDA director, whom she emails about her condition. He connects her with an “eminent i
James Bennefield
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
A poetic story about the nature of interdependence and struggle

I found Acker’s use of descriptive imagery to lend a profound beauty to the pages, as well as her intimate description of the relationship with her husband. There is an openness and fragility that comes with frank discussion of one’s marriage; let alone debilitating illness. In that lies a bravery that lends credence to a truly personal story. While at times, her personal choice of sentence structure seems mildly forced on the reader
Pamela Scott

I’d never heard of the author before. This essay moved me and I plan to read other books by the author. Chronic fatigue is one of those illnesses along with things like depression that is for the most part invisible, misunderstood and often dismissed. If people look physically fine their insistence that they are ill etc tends to be overlooked or seen as an exaggeration. My heart went out to the author reading this. Her struggle with fatigue, to even get a
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Haunted by hoarding

A little girl growing up with a hoarder father explains in raw detail how her life was affected then and how that behavior continued to haunt her adult life. We hear about hoarders, but rarely about how the behavior affects children growing up in their homes. This book was a fascinating read that made me feel the helplessness of first a child, and then a young woman who only wanted her family to live a normal life. The constant war of love for her family and hate for how the h
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reflections and lessons learned:
Tackling the difficulties of changing health in a shared life is something that happens to almost everyone in terms of ageing, but what happens if it’s out of the unexpected timeline. Joking about it being the ‘Summer of Me’ resonates with a personal similar family joke but trying to find the positives by looking up at clouds (aka, wider picture) and continue with certain elements of living and life regardless of limitations. The reassurance of finding things to
Lori Flores
Jun 17, 2020 rated it liked it

All the symptoms she describes were hardly new to me . I have had rheumatoid arthritis for over 30 years and my body goes from 60 to 0 in a matter of seconds. It is hard for people to understand the frustrations of living with chronic pain and fatigue. You go to be and wake refreshed. No so with this disease. The short story describes what it’s like for a disabled couple to come together and help each other. Bringing them from estranged to a real couple working together in sync.
Erika Smith
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When one is hit with an unexpected illness of any kind, everything about your life and those closest to you changes. This story is about those changes, the frustration, the adjustments in routine, the fear and the successes. Learning to depend on, and then support, others through your own pain is not easy and the author describes it beautifully. After experiencing my own sudden illness, I found the author easily relatable and incredibly inspiring. A tiny peek into the daily struggles and success ...more
Brandy Gibson
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
I've struggled with health and balancing a family, so this book peaked my interest on Amazon Prime. Sadly, it didn't hold my interest. I felt as though the author scraped the surface and I desperately wanted her to delve deeper into all the emotions that go along with health issues and relationships.
On a positive note, I did appreciate the tenderness that the two shared with each other. The give and take of their relationship showed what love is.
For this being a "quick read".... it took me way
Jennifer Lavoie
Short but intimate look into CFS

Reading this at time was like reading about my life. There are many parallels between the author at me. At times I wonder if I have CFS as well with the near constant exhaustion just a little exertion places on me.

This short piece looks at one woman’s life and how it changes her marriage when she comes down with an unknown condition. It’s a quick read but explores the depths of her marriage when one condition turns into two.
Nicollette Buckle
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Short enjoyable read

It was great to watch the characters develop through the course of her story. It’s an interesting perspective on sickness and care-taking and how love grows and changes over time. I kept finding myself wondering how her husband would describe certain parts of her story. I wonder what he was feeling and how he has been impacted by the shift in their relationship dynamics. Very raw and tender and thought provoking.
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Love those you love through their pain

As someone who has a friend that suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, this touches my heart. A wife (with chronic fatigue syndrome) and husband (with frozen shoulder), are forced to depend and lean on each other physically like never before. This made me think of the importance of really being and remaining there for your partner. The research of their prognosis was inconclusive but not the love they have for each other.
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Jennifer Acker is founder and editor in chief of The Common. Her short stories, essays, translations, and reviews have appeared in the Washington Post, Literary Hub, n+1, Guernica, The Yale Review, and Ploughshares, among other places. Acker has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and teaches writing and editing at Amherst College, where she directs the Literary Publishing Internship and o ...more

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