New Life, No Instructions by Gail Caldwell
This memoir is about Caldwell’s hip replacement surgery and recovery. Because she’d had polio as a child, which left one leg a little shorter, the hip replacement was more difficult than it is for most people. This seemingly mundane subject is illuminated by Caldwell’s prose. Hanging over the story is the loss of Caldwell’s mother, and that of her friend Caroline, the subject of Let’s Take the Long Road Home. Like that other memoir, it’s a short book concerned with community, healing, and the love of dogs. Caldwell’s personality is what sells the book. She is anxious without being annoying or overbearing, and she has a great sense of humor and a hopeful outlook that is all the more convincing because it is hard-won.