Halfway to Venus is a courageous, honest, brave and beautiful autobiography. Sarah Anderson writes with a clarity and directness about a difficult subject: the loss of her arm through cancer at ten years old, and how she has lived with one arm ever since.
The book was inspired by Anderson's realisation that although she could do everything for herself, and never, until she was eighteen, even questioned why she'd had one arm surgically removed, she often found herself having to fight for her independence because other people didn't know how to cope with the loss of her arm. The air hostess who - when cutting up Sarah's steak for her - suggested that Sarah would be 'her baby' for the flight, set off a furious train of thought in Sarah which resulted in this wonderful book.
The book also explores the mythology and meaning of hands in different cultures and ages, and discusses the number of people (Nelson being the most well-known) who've lived without a hand and an arm, but its central message is about identity and the difference between how we see ourselves and how others see us, and how to bridge that gap. Halfway to Venus gently shows those of us with two arms how those with one arm never think of themselves or refer to themselves as one-armed ... the book is a humorous, thoughtful work about the human condition.