Book Review: Challenging Barriers / Memoir

Challenging Barriers & Walking the Path

                               Mark Koning's Cover 3 with photo filter    Author: Mark Koning

Gold StarsRating: 5 out of 5 Stars.

Highly Recommended Reading.

Genre: Memoir.

Have you ever had the feeling that something wasn’t right? You know, when someone tells a joke everyone gets except you, and then even when they explain it out, it’s not funny? We all face a variety of challenges and barriers in our lives, some are self-imposed, some society imposes, but others are physiologically imposed – like what Koning faced when fighting off an infection as a child… leaving him with a brain injury he knew virtually nothing about until his adult years. Now, imagine that feeling from earlier and apply it to life on a daily basis – but there’s no one to explain the joke.

Koning takes readers on an incredible journey through time as he highlights the challenges and barriers he faced growing up with an un-diagnosed brain injury. He integrates short stories based on memories of his life, blog posts, condition-based facts, and heart-felt truths as he paints a picture of how his life was affected by that hospital emergency room when he was only six years old.

I love that his truths are universal – especially when Koning talks about coping mechanisms. You don’t need to have a disability to understand the catharsis that comes with belting out the words to your favourite song playing on full-blast, or the rush that comes from writing a journal entry where you get to see your feelings on the page and come to some kind of understanding about them. What Koning writes about is life during its highs and lows, giving us not only a common ground but a basis for understanding the silent struggles of those learning to live with a brain injury.

I would highly recommend this memoir to anyone 16+. Whether you know someone suffering or have suffered yourself – Koning’s words turn light-bulbs on and connect on a guttural level, leaving the pulpit for the preachers.

Review by M.J. Moores, OCT. Author. Editor.

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