“Golem Girl” Book Review

A good memoir should make you feel like you’ve walked a mile in someone else’s shoes. “Golem Girl” had me celebrating Riva Lehrer’s triumphs as well as mourning her losses. Lehrer leaves no stone unturned in this honest and moving memoir – from the time she’s born with spina bifida to her career as a successful artist, the reader is able to take a step into her life (as painful and heartbreaking as that is sometimes).

I’m not sure if I fell in love with this memoir because of the similarities I share with Lehrer (a Jewish woman who has spent way too much of her life in hospitals), but I tend to think anyone who is interested in reading about the human condition would find something to love with this book. Lehrer touches on everything from failures of the medical community to the complications of a mother-daughter relationship to what it really means to live your life as a disabled person. I felt like I learned so much – not only about spina bifida but about what it must feel like to be treated as an ‘other’ because of a disability.

“Golem Girl” covers so much ground because Lehrer has lived such a full and amazing life. Every time she moved on to describe another chapter in her life I was expecting to not be as interested, but every section still held something of great value for me. It’s also such a treat to have many of Lehrer’s art pieces included in the book. This made the text feel even more alive to me. Overall, this memoir left me viewing the world differently after I was done – and what better thing can you say about a book!

5 stars

*Free ARC provided by Netgalley and One World in exchange for an honest review*

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