Beau­ti­ful Scars: A Life Re­de­fined

Kilee Brook­bank Lori High­lander

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Adult Fiction / Adult Nonfiction - MELISSA WUSKE

Ki­cam Projects (NOVEM­BER) Soft­cover $19.95 (296pp) 978-0-9985216-3-3

Kilee Brook­bank’s is a story of hope and in­spi­ra­tion.

Beau­ti­ful Scars: A Life Re­de­fined, by Kilee Brook­bank and Lori High­lander, is a story of hope and health for a teen girl and her mother.

At age six­teen, Kilee suf­fered a tragic ac­ci­dent: a gas ex­plo­sion burned nearly half of her body and de­stroyed her home. The book is her story of re­cov­ery from her in­juries, of re­gain­ing her self-es­teem even with ex­ten­sive scar­ring, and of growth from a teen girl to a young woman with hopes, goals, and a pos­i­tive im­pact on oth­ers.

This is also the story of the power of fam­ily re­la­tion­ships, par­tic­u­larly be­tween mothers and daugh­ters. It’s hard to de­cide what’s more in­spir­ing: Kilee’s pos­i­tive at­ti­tude, or the un­wa­ver­ing sup­port of her mother, Lori. The story is told through their al­ter­nat­ing per­spec­tives. While dis­tinct in their tones and ex­pe­ri­ences, both women’s re­lat­able sto­ries re­ver­ber­ate with vul­ner­a­bil­ity and with love for each other and for life.

Kilee’s voice is at the heart of the book. Her in­no­cence and can­dor are invit­ing, es­pe­cially in key mo­ments such as when she de­scribes her first day back to school af­ter the ac­ci­dent. Her in­sights and emo­tional depth ma­ture as her story pro­gresses, set­ting a path

that other young women can fol­low. The con­nec­tion be­tween mother and daugh­ter, which is deeply mov­ing, also shifts as Kilee gains in­de­pen­dence.

The book has just the right level of de­tail, not overindulging in re­mem­brance or minute in­for­ma­tion. The women share vivid rec­ol­lec­tions of the day of the ac­ci­dent, the emo­tional jour­ney of med­i­cal care and phys­i­cal heal­ing, and Kilee’s in­ter­nal bat­tle to re­gain a sense of self-con­fi­dence, which Lori watches in awe. Each phase of Kilee’s story is well de­vel­oped and aptly paced to show­case the char­ac­ters and re­la­tion­ships of the nar­ra­tors.

This per­sonal story is a great read for young peo­ple re­cov­er­ing from trauma, who will be able to re­late to Kilee’s pain and will be in­spired and en­cour­aged by her de­ter­mi­na­tion and op­ti­mism. It’s also a beau­ti­ful read­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for mothers and daugh­ters learn­ing to love and sup­port each other as their re­la­tion­ships flour­ish into adult­hood.

Beau­ti­ful Scars is a story of hope and in­spi­ra­tion, es­pe­cially for young women and their mothers.

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