Book Review: Sophie Morgan shares her story in Driving Forwards

Welcome to my first book review of the Spoonies Community blog! And we start off with a smashing book by Sophie Morgan.

Sophie Morgan, for anyone of you who doesn’t know her, is a British television presenter and disability advocate. Very recently she has been in the news a lot, due to her activism for #RightsonFlights, where she is fighting for the rights of disabled passengers on airplanes.

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Last year she published her very first book, sharing her story: Driving Forwards: A Journey of Resilience and Empowerment After Life-changing Injury.

I have had the privilege (yes, it does feel like a privilege) to read this book and I cannot wait to share my thoughts on it with you!

Sophie Morgan: who is she?

A bit of background: Sophie got into a car accident at 18 years old, leaving from a party with her friends, leaving her with life-threatening injuries. Ever since, she has been paralysed from the waste down and navigates life in a wheelchair.

Sophie shares her story about how to get through an accident that’s life changing, how to navigate having to reset your expectations of life, how to find new dreams and purposes and how to strive to achieve those. It takes us through those first years after sustaining this disabling injury. She talks about topics such as self-care, having to re-learn basic things, like how to go toilet, sexuality and society.

Why I love this book

This book is one of the most impressive books I’ve read in a while. That’s not only because a lot of her story resonates with me (and probably many of you!). You don’t need to be paralysed to truly feel what she is talking about, with many of the topics she touches upon. It’s also her writing style. It is honest, pure, raw and extremely vulnerable. She writes about topics (hello, sex!) that are not discussed a lot: especially not when your body is changing from able-bodied to disabled (as if disabled people don’t want to have sex anymore?). More often than not, I was stunned with how open and honest she was writing: I can’t imagine what it must be like, as a person who’s already in the spotlight because of her career, to write so vulnerably. Very, very impressive!

My favourite pages in the book, that touched and taught me most. It’s the final pages of the chapter “Finding Frida”

It’s not a book, asking for pity and compassion, nor an angry book on society or life. If anything, it is the complete opposite! it is extremely empowering, resilient and motivating to read her story.  There is a lot to learn! She broaches upon the subject of ableism, how we are still living in a world made for able-bodied people and her vision on how to make the world more inclusive for everyone, while addressing our own internalized conditioning and ableism as well. I know she doesn’t want to be seen as “inspiring”, cause she is “just a person as well”, but read this story and you cannot conclude anything else than: what an inspiring, strong, resilient woman she is.

How this impacted me

On a personal note: having read this book has helped me open up conversations with my environment. About the view of recovery, inclusivity, society and ableism. And how to manage our own relationship, whilst dealing with life-changing injury. Sophie Morgan empowered me to broach this topics and to speak about it. So I’ll be forever grateful.

Interested? You can order the book through Bol.com

Book review by Eline in video

Video review of the book by Sophie Morgan
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2 Comments

  1. I have not come across Sophie’s work before, but it sounds like she’s doing some great stuff, and I’m interested in hearing what she has to say about air passenger rights. Thanks for sharing!

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