Holding On For Dear Life - James Campbell

Released January 2013

James Campbell

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

In 2008, three weeks before his wedding day, James Campbell received a call that would change both his and his fiancee's life. While attending a dog race, she suffered a stroke. Given her age, the last thing they expected was to face a disease thought of as being for older men and women, not 30-somethings. Holding On For Dear Life is a compilation of James' blog updates on Julie's recovery.

 First, if you can make it through this book, at least the first half dozen of so chapters without crying, I'm surprised. In the middle of my son's college's parking lot, I read with tears running down my face and not a Kleenex in sight. It's heartrending.

American readers may not recognize some of the celebrities or terms used by the author. I have an advantage because my mom is from Yorkshire. Many of the celebrities appear on BBC America from time to time. When he talks about Richard Hammond, you likely know the show Top Gear from the trips they've made to the U.S. A quick look at Wiki will clarify many of them if you're curious.

The author also makes a note at one point that until a younger celebrity has a stroke, the media simply doesn't give it enough attention. I can name three younger celebrities who had strokes, and the media still didn't pay much attention. Sharon Stone  of the movie Basic Instinct (43), Bret Michaels of the band Poison (47), and Frankie Muniz of the show Malcolm in the Middle (26) are all celebrities I immediately think of who had strokes. The media mentioned it in passing and quickly moved on.

That's why I feel Holding On For Dear Life is so beneficial. It puts the information out there in simple, emotional terms that people can relate to. It's a powerful, touching book and hopefully people rush out to read it.

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