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Trapped: My Life with Cerebral Palsy [Hardcover]

Fran Macilvey
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Mar 2014
Living in the Belgian Congo with her husband in the 1960s, Fran's mother became pregnant with a daughter. However, right after she gave birth in the hospital, she felt strange. Unbeknownst to anyone, another daughter was on the way, but before anybody responded, an hour had passed. Because of the delay, Fran was born with cerebral palsy. Growing up with her siblings in Africa, Fran always felt different. When everyone else was playing and having fun, she would watch and wish she could join in. After the family moved to Scotland and Fran grew older, her hurt turned into anger, self-hatred, and suicidal depression. Then one day, someone looked at her and saw a woman to love, and that was the start of her journey to self-acceptance. Fran has written the painful truth about her life to help readers understand how disabled adults really feel. In her revealing account, she shows just how hard it is to maintain the appearance of a "normal" life. More importantly, out of her million and one mistakes have come lessons in real acceptance, peace, and joy, which she would like to share with her readers.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (4 Mar 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1628737611
  • ISBN-13: 978-1628737615
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 838,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in Congo in 1965, premature and disabled. I am a younger twin. Returning to Scotland in 1972, I spent eight years at boarding school, before qualifying and working as a lawyer for ten years. Trapped: My Life With Cerebral Palsy (ISBN:978-1628737615) is my true story (Skyhorse, March 2014). I live in Scotland with my husband and daughter. When I am not catching up on my sleep, I write, read, sing in the shower and dance where no-one can see me.

Product Description

About the Author

Fran Macilvey was born premature and disabled in the Belgian Congo in 1965. Returning to Scotland in 1972, she spent eight years at boarding school, then qualified and practiced as a solicitor for ten years before returning to her first passion, writing. Apart from Trapped she has written two further books drawing on her experiences with disability. When she's not catching up on her sleep, she reads, writes, sings in the shower, and dances where no one can see her. She lives with her husband and daughter in Scotland.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant writing that truly inspires. 3 May 2014
By Cherry
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fran Macilvey has a wonderful way with words. I've never been to Africa, but from her descriptions of her childhood, I was able to sense, see and smell her African home, the animals on safari and the beautiful warm ocean in an almost magical way. An achievement in itself, but she also enabled me to see and feel her life with cerebral palsy.
I don't have cerebral palsy but Fran states that we all have disabilities, whether physical, emotional or mental, and how right she is. I could emphasise with her through so much of her life: her unhappy years spent at boarding school, the law degree, taken because it was difficult, and the struggle with work where, due to feelings of worthlessness, she was put upon and abused. How more I understood myself and my own struggles after I'd read Fran's revealing book.
And Fran comes through in the end, through relationships and impossible work situations, she finds herself, her husband and a very special daughter. No longer trapped, by her writing she can soar.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trapped 9 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover
Without intending to, Fran Macilvey exemplifies Diane Arbus's famous claim that the disabled are the aristocrats of trauma because they face as routine what most people dread happening to them. And this is merely an opening statement about Macilvey's astonishing life story, Trapped.

Actually reading it is to expose yourself to vistas wondrous as children's fantasy. Daunting as it is, the narrative is not at all depressing because Macilvey survives each harrowing encounter. For every customary experience, she supplies a unique and captivating alternative, demonstrating the human spirit at its most resilient, and supplying a resounding denial to the claim, "If I faced the same thing, I would kill myself." These are but some of the reasons why Trapped is the ultimate in self-help literature.’

James MacDonald
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational! 18 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I can count the books I have been truly inspired by on the fingers of one hand. Trapped is one of those books. And the funny thing is, I didn't see it coming. I had first read it as a fledgling project on the Authonomy site for aspiring writers, and thought great, I had only skim-read the first few chapters, I hadn't got hooked. Then the author sent me a personal hardback copy and I thought `Oh, how wonderful, but I haven't got time for this, I know, I'll just skim-read the rest and tell her how I know exactly where she's coming from, I broke my leg once and fell off my crutches and landed in a pile of dog poo and Chinese takeaway, and the experience was so humiliating and humbling that I immediately gained an understanding of how she must have felt every day of her life.'

How wrong that would have been. Gripped by the powerful prose, my eyes alighted on this passage and my skim-read slowed to a full stop:

`We are all disabled. Some of us by prejudice, some of us by fear, and some, by being misunderstood. We care so much what others think of us that our lives can become one long hobble to what we "should" or "should not" do next. None of us is truly "able bodied."'

How wise. How true. Someone else has said that Fran MacIlvey's life is mine and yours and everyone's. As you read this book, as I hope many of you will, the message is not how poor crippled kid with cerebral palsy managed to stay out of a wheelchair and claw some semblance of a `normal' life for herself, but how, in her own words, she learnt how to `fall and learn the power of getting myself up again to have another go.' Not just physically, but in every sense of the expression. It is this courage, this triumph of the spirit, which commands both awe and respect.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read. 21 July 2014
By jill s.
Format:Kindle Edition
It wasn't an easy decision for me to read this book, we all have past history that we're afraid a certain book will stick pins into simply to see if we still feel the pain. I'm so glad I took the chance.
Fran has cerebral palsy as a result of being starved of oxygen at birth. Did I feel sorry for her? Yes, in that Fran has a constant battle to overcome people's perception of what she is and isn't capable of. There always seems to be the presumption by others that her body, which maybe lacking in graceful flow, is more disabling that it actually is. It also meant that although Fran gained academic qualifications she was never given the opportunity to prove herself in the workplace. Fran provides an articulate and sometimes emotional voice for all people with a visible disability, while sharing her own personal journey.
Her skill as a writer is eloquent and enviable as she lays her life out for us to view and hopefully gain deeper understanding. Personally, I experienced the feeling that through the process of reading her story, I was sharing in Fran's discovery of herself. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book, full price on the recommendation of a friend. I have never paid 8 for a kindle book and was rather hoping that Trapped would live up to it's expensive price tag, I'm pleased to say that it did and worth every last penny.
Trapped is not a book that you race through, it's not a rollicking good read and it's not a roller coaster ride either.
Fran is neither trapped by her disabilities or people's prejudices for and against her. Instead she is trapped within herself, by herself, and like in all good fairy tales, she is 'rescued' from herself by the love of a good man and her daughter.
By reading Fran's book, I learned a lot about Fran, but more importantly she allowed me to learn more about myself. Fran, you are my rescuer and for that I am eternally grateful.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Story from the Heart
Left too long without oxygen, newborn baby Fran was dealt the worst case birth scenario.
Physically handicapped with Cerebral Palsy, she watched life from the sidelines as a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Susan Joyce DuBosque
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written memoir.
If I'm entirely honest reading a book about Cerebral Palsy wouldn't have been that high on my list of one thousand things to do before I die. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Charlotte
5.0 out of 5 stars A Profile in Courage
This memoir really touched me. Anyone who reads the book should give thanks if they are able to walk without difficulty and do everyday tasks that most of us take for granted. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Becky C-A
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerfully and beautifully written!
Fran's writing is so poignant and vivid that as a reader, you find yourself feeling every emotion and living her story with her rather than just reading about her. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Patti Tingen
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
After being given a copy of this book as a gift from a friend I didn't know what to expect as it's not my usual kind of book, After reading the first couple of chapters I was... Read more
Published 3 months ago by norman gallacher
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely story told with a beautiful voice
"Trapped" is an inspiring memoir that I had the privilege of listening to and reading in the early stages of narration for the audiobook. Read more
Published 3 months ago by seth leach
5.0 out of 5 stars Living life off-balance -- and a book that takes you off-guard
For me growing up was sometimes about feeling left out and what I did to cope with it. It was the whole story for Fran Macilvey -- and she chose to protect herself with a... Read more
Published 4 months ago by omnigander
4.0 out of 5 stars An honest and thought provoking read
I read this book as someone who also has Cerebral Palsy and I was interested in Macilvey's point of view and experiences of living with the condition. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Aideen Henry
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written!
As someone who reads a lot, the minute I saw this book, I was intrigued and knew I had to read it. When I saw the title and read the synopsis, I immediately started thinking about... Read more
Published 4 months ago by bernieleslie
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible journey- Trapped
Although the title conjures up a limited space of existence, this is only the beginning of Fran's journey. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kristien Hintjens
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