8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2005
I was really inspired reading Alison's story and although I in no way have been through half of what Alison has, her story has turned out to be a catalist for my own life's path and what I hope to achieve. I became completely engrossed in her story and it feels like a very opportune time for me to be reading about her extraodinary confidence and enthusiasm. It was a real page turner, unputdownable, I read it over the weekend and tomorrow I am off to London for the day to see the statue in Trafalgar Square.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2009
Despite being born with no arms, truncated legs, and vestigial feet Alison Lapper proves that if you are determined enough you can do anything. Abandoned at birth by a mother who could not cope physically or mentally with Alison's disabilities, she spent the first seventeen years of her life in a home in southern England. Life was tough in the home, but Alison's indomitable spirit rises above it all. When the home pushes her out reluctantly into the big wild she learns to drive a specially adapted car and passes her test at the first attempt. A failed marriage later she takes up again her lifelong passion for art, gains a First Class Honours degree in fine art, earns her living from art, gets an MBE, has a son, and has a ten foot high statue of herself on display in Trafalgar Square. There is a lovely moment when Alison and a friend meet the late Princess Diana one night in London and spend 20 minutes chatting.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2005
For anyone out there that has brought up children or run into adversity in their life, and that's probably most of us - read this book. Let it be an inspiration to us all. Think life is tough, then put yourself in Alisons shoes. A beautifully written book portraying how and why you feel the way you do if you're classed by society as 'different' A highly reccomended read.
Read the book and then visit Trafalgar Square...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2010
I very much enjoyed this book and read it quickly. It is particularly interesting to read how Alison Lapper was treated as a child, after she was born with no arms and limited legs. Rejected by her mother, she was taken into care. It is an inspiring autobiography.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2013
Firstly, let me state here that I have been profoundly disabled since birth and lived for years in a residential school with other children with impairments. I share quite a few of the experiences Ms Lapper endured. I am also a children's author so I know a little about writing, too. I feel qualified, therefore, to share my opinion on this biography.
I bought the book hoping to enjoy reading about Alison's creative development; her abilities and achievements; her opinions on art; what the future holds for her as an artist. I was hugely disappointed.
Unfortunately, this book is all about misery - a real woe-is-me tale. It's much more to do with axe grinding than paintbrush wielding. And there were so many axes to grind: against her family, (principally her mother), the vast majority of the staff at Chailey Heritage school, the man who got her pregnant, even Michael who is mentally ill. (Does he really need to read about himself between those pages? It adds nothing to the story except to portray the author in a favourable light yet again - 'Look at me, aren't I wonderful, compassionate, caring?') So many people within the pages are sacrificed to Ms Lapper's burning desire to declare to the world what a miserable, prejudiced and abused existence she has endured. But she rose above it, she beat 'em all. She showed 'em, didn't she? Hurrah!
Some of the scenes recorded do not quite sound convincing, either. For example, the author talks of how, at the school, all the young girls' menstrual cycles became aligned, so that they all had periods at the same time each month. Ok, I can believe that, it has been proven to happen often. But next we read that it just happened that during this time 'for some strange reason' cherry cheesecake was always served for tea, and the girls all made veiled hints about what it looked like... Now, as a reader I'm thinking, 'We're into the realms of fantasy here'. Even if it were true, it is not good writing. Ever heard the phrase, ' If someone read that in a book, they'd never believe it?' So many scenes and instances recorded add nothing to the story, they do not move it along. They do not provide fresh insight. They aren't even really all that entertaining.
I do not doubt the experiences Ms Lapper went through for a moment. What I do not agree with is why she felt the need to visit them upon the reading public through this book? These misery memoirs litter bookshops and internet selling sites. This is just one among so many. And it is not even very well written.
In my opinion, Miss Lapper would have done much better writing solely about her work and the passion she has for art in general. That is a book I would have been proud to put on my bookshelf. This one went in the bin.