Book Review | Trapped: My Life With Cerebral Palsy

Over the summer, I’ve been participating in the 2014 Summer Book Challenge (check out updates from May and June). One of the challenge components was to read a book written by a blogger. In what I thought a stroke of luck at the time, the WordPress Daily Press had just posted an article about published bloggers where I found Fran Macilvey and her book Trapped: My Life with Cerebral Palsy. It sounded so interesting and so real, I couldn’t wait to get started. Unfortunately, I realized after the fact that the book doesn’t meet the 200-page requirement for the challenge (sad face). But I still wanted to share the book with you guys, so I decided to go for the proper review it deserves (smile).

Trapped book cover

I really enjoy reading a good biography or memoir and I was particularly interested in this book after seeing all of the glowing reviews. I was a little surprised when the book actually exceeded my expectations! I laughed, I cried, and I gained a new outlook on people with disabilities. This is one of those books that really draws you into the story and allows you to see the real person, for better or worse.

Trapped is a revealing and poignant book about Macilvey’s life with Cerebral Palsy. She writes about her difficult birth, struggling to fit in, her failures, and her successes. It’s a raw and honest look about life with a disability in a period in history where treatments could sometimes be worse than the disability itself. I admit I knew very little about Cerebral Palsy before I read this book, which is one of the reasons I picked it up. I feel like I now have at least a greater appreciation for the disability and for those I see with similar circumstances. It’s a good reminder that everyone has a story.

This one is a very inspiring story, and I got the impression on some level that the author herself was re-inspired in the telling of it. The thing I appreciate the most about this book is the notable air of perseverance and positive attitude through great hardship. Macilvey wasn’t just a naturally happy child who overcame her disability through sunshine and rainbows. It was a hard fought battle with plenty of ups and downs. I don’t claim to understand what she has endured in her life, but I saw bits of myself in her personality. I could only hope to have her resilience and determination should I ever find myself in a similar situation.

Perhaps it’s putting them into a perspective such as Macilvey’s story, but I found a new appreciation for the positive words she has to share. They don’t seem trite or strategically placed to “lighten” the mood. They seem like a real-life application of a positive outlook. As Hemingway put it, “the world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” It’s clear from her story that Macilvey’s one of those people. I respect her for that, and for being strong enough to share her story with the world. It certainly gave me a lot to think about, especially in terms of making excuses for not chasing life (smile).

I certainly encourage anyone looking for an interesting and realistically inspiring read to check this book out. Macilvey also has a blog where she posts her thoughts on life.

Have you ever read a book that inspired beyond expectations??


5 thoughts on “Book Review | Trapped: My Life With Cerebral Palsy

  1. Thank you so much for such a glowing review! WOW! I was doing a Google search, and there you were. I am honoured and very touched by your generous comments. Bless you!

    Fran XXX 😀


  2. Pingback: Summer Book Challenge: July Books | PonderTheIrrelevant

  3. Just popping in to say hello 🙂

    I don’t read memoirs… although I did read Stephen King’s book ‘On Writing’ (about 4 times now) which had a bit of ‘memoir-ish’ stuff in it, mainly about after his accident, but also slightly instructional regarding writing.

    I did read Memoirs of a Geisha… but I think it was actually a fiction book? I don’t remember.

    I keep telling myself that I need to stop limiting my reading to fiction, I should read some non-fiction stuff, but it usually doesn’t work out, because it doesn’t have that magical ability to transport me somewhere else the way that fiction does.

    But your review made me want to read this book 🙂

    Anywho… hope you’re doing well!



    • Hi!! 🙂 You know the funny thing is I rarely read non-fiction other than memoirs. I figure if whoever’s life is interesting enough to warrant an entire book, it probably makes for a good story. Let’s not get into how many times I’ve been burned on that theory! I just like to throw one in once in a while to mix things up 🙂
      I’m glad this review makes you want to read the book – it really is worthwhile! – I feel like I’ve accomplished what I was going for, which is good 🙂 I keep hearing about King’s book – do you find it worthwhile/inspiring? I was scarred early on (thanks to my older brother) from anything with Stephen King attached to it, but maybe it’s time to reconsider…


      • Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ is, in my opinion, the best book he has EVER written. And it’s non-fiction.

        He’s still… HIM, raw, brash, bawdy… but the man obviously has plenty of experience writing, and he shares it with the reader bluntly, in a way that you know he’s telling it like it is. There’s plenty of good advice, interspersed with commentary and tidbits about his life.

        I’ve read it multiple times and still enjoy it and get something out of it. Even if you despise every word of fiction he’s ever penned, it is the one book about writing I strongly recommend to everyone who has an interest in the subject.


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