Henry Holt, Mar 2002, 23.00, 256 pp.
In an isolated part of California, Samantha Dunn was leading her horse Harley across a creek when her steed accidentally stomped on her leg. The injury was severe enough to threaten her life as she suffered splintered bones, ripped muscles and torn veins. Samantha's luck changed when a passerby happened to find her.
While physically recuperating and going through various mental stages of recovery, Samantha reflected back on her three-decade plus life. She concludes that her long string of accidents are not really bad luck misfortunes, but something with much deeper underlying causes that make her ignore signs of potential trouble like her panic stricken horse that stepped on her. Eventually Samantha not only gets back on Harley, but she picks herself up personally as she now knows she is a good person with much too offer.
NOT BY ACCIDENT: RECONSTRUCTING A CARELESS LIFE is a great first hand account of recovering from a near-fatal accident that inspires the audience. Samantha Dunn learns that riding horses for pleasure is a lot different than riding to escape life. She concludes that life is too precious to carelessly destroy it. As Lou Costello once said “97% of all accidents occur to 3% of the people”. Ms. Dunn encourages those 3% frequent accident victims to reflect on why this happens and how to live life fully, but not negligently. Besides animal lovers and repeat accident victims, readers who enjoy an uplifting didactic account will want to peruse this introspective nonfiction.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner