Wondering Who You Are: A Memoir
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Wondering Who You Are: A Memoir

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In the twenty-third year of their marriage, Sonya Lea’s husband, Richard, went in for surgery to treat a rare appendix cancer. When he came out, he had no recollection of their life together: how they met, their wedding day, the births of their two children. All of it was gone, along with the rockier parts of their past—her drinking, his anger. Richard could now hardly speak, emote, or create memories from moment to moment. Who he’d been no longer was.
Wondering Who You Are braids the story of Sonya and Richard’s relationship, those memories that he could no longer conjure, with an account of his fateful days in the hospital—the internal bleeding, the near-death experience, and the eventual traumatic brain injury. It follows the couple through his recovery as they struggle with his treatment, and through a marriage no longer grounded on decades of shared experience. As they build a fresh life together, as Richard develops a new personality, Sonya is forced to question her own assumptions, beliefs, and desires, her place in the marriage and her way of being in the world. With radical candor, Sonya Lea has written a memoir that is both a powerful look at perseverance in the face of trauma and a surprising exploration into what lies beyond our fragile identities.

Title:Wondering Who You Are: A Memoir
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9789410400
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:352 pages

    Wondering Who You Are: A Memoir Reviews

  • Carol Holding
    Jun 11, 2015

    Sonya Lea is a fabulous writer with an honest and subversive message, and Wondering Who I Am is a great read. Lea’s command of the medical specialists, medical centers, tests, drugs etc of traumati...

  • Maddie
    Jun 09, 2015

    Beautiful, honest, and heartbreaking. Sonya Lea bares her very soul in this memoir. We've all seen rom-coms like "The Vow" that explore memory loss and relationships, but Lea's story is so incontrover...

  • Stacy
    Jul 25, 2015

    How brave and skilled do you have to be to write a book this good, this intimate, this honest, and this engaging? Very! The tale begins at the start of Lea’s romance with Richard when they were teen...

  • Elaine
    Oct 17, 2016

    What a sad, thought-provoking memoir. Sonya writes about her journey after her husband survives a hideous cancer, only to awaken with a total loss of memory. By following her (and her husband's) lives...

  • Michele Cacano
    Sep 02, 2015

    So excellent. I am proud to call this woman "friend" and recognize the parts of her story that occurred over the past 15 years of our acquaintance. Sonya Lea writes from that part of the heart that pe...

  • Alyce (At Home With Books)
    Nov 14, 2015

    This book appealed to me because of the medical aspect of the story: her husband losing his memory due to a medical procedure. I have a weakness for medical memoirs, as well as for amnesia stories, so...

  • Suzy
    Sep 05, 2015

    When I started listening I thought this was going to be five stars, as I love author- narrated books. In the first half chapters alternate between past and present to fill in the back story of how Son...

  • Kathryn Gilmore
    Jun 10, 2015

    Sonya Lea's "Wondering Who You Are" is a revelation. It's drama and suspense kept me up late into the night - finding it hard not to turn the next page. Sprinkled with vivid stories and just the right...

  • Amanda
    Aug 15, 2015

    Finally finished this amazing book. It took me a bit longer than usual for something I enjoyed but I think it was because I was so interested in every detail, so I just let it soak in a bit more. Havi...

  • Josephine Ensign
    Mar 01, 2016

    While this was a reasonably well-written memoir, it felt consistently morally questionable (at best) and reprehensible (at worst) to me. This was mainly because Lea is telling the story of (and profit...

About Sonya Lea

Sonya Lea

Sonya Lea’s memoir, Wondering Who You Are is a finalist for the Washington State Book Award, and has garnered praise in Oprah Magazine, People, and the BBC, who named it a “top ten book.” Her essays have appeared in Salon, The Southern Review, Brevity, Guernica, Cold Mountain Review, The Prentice Hall College Reader, Good Housekeeping, The Los Angeles Book Review, The Rumpus, The Butter and more.