Prognosis by Sarah Vallance


The searing, wry memoir about a woman’s fight for a new life after a devastating brain injury.When Sarah Vallance is thrown from a horse and suffers a jarring blow to the head, she believes she’s walked away unscathed. The next morning, things take a sharp turn as she’s led from work to the emergency room. By the end of the week, a neurologist delivers a devastating prognosis: Sarah suffered a traumatic brain injury that has caused her IQ t...

Details Prognosis

Release DateAug 1st, 2019
PublisherLittle A
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography

Reviews Prognosis

  • Rebekah
    Not your typical white woman memoir of healing and redemption. Vallance's rendering of her life is told with brutal honesty and minimalist mush which just happen to include moments of humour and tenderness when confronted with the various faces of death. I laughed when I wanted to cry and vice versa.
  • Ina Roy-Faderman
    If you like Oliver Sack's article about face-blindness (New Yorker) or his books (particularly Uncle Tungsten and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat), you will love this book.Before I get into why this is an amazing book: I've seen a few reviews by people who gave an unthinking criticism of the book because they believe that the author hates animals or is cruel to them. Those people really didn't get the book and/or didn't read the book throu...
  • Peter
    I do not like many memoirs, but this book reeled me in from the first page. I read it in two days. Wonderful insight into what it’s like to have a brain injury, and how to pick yourself up and keep going when all the odds are against you. It’s also funny!
  • Cindy H.
    This was a free Amazon Prime First Read selection for July. I feel a little apathetic giving 2 stars to someone who penned a memoir about recovering and living with a traumatic brain injury. But I’m keeping it real. While I can admire Sarah Vallance for sharing and relating her calamitous accident it did not make for an engaging story. The entire retelling felt devoid of any emotion. It was a rather dull read, and I found myself skimming pages.
  • Kira
    This is a work of phenomenal power. Vallance's story is one of courage and tenacity, revealing the need for a better understanding of Traumatic Brain Injury and its terrifying consequences. With wit and intelligence, Vallance chronicles her journey through experiences that would cause a lesser individual to give up. This memoir will make you appreciate the power of language and Vallance's ability to wield it affectively. Brimming with a viscerali...
  • Catherine Dart
    It is not often you get to read the pages of someone’s life with such openness, honesty, kindness and determination. This is a book I could not put down and was inspired beyond all else by the bravery, courage, intelligence and beauty of Sarah’s story. It brings awareness to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as well gently unfolds the fear, loneliness, grit and hope of this wonderful woman. Her story is a “must read” and one that teaches us to...
  • Joanne
    Sarah Vallance’s Prognosis is a ‘must read’. It is in turn witty, brutally honest, heartbreaking and uplifting. Rocking along at a good pace it keeps the reader riveted. I absolutely loved reading this book. An amazing achievement by a talented new writer. I highly recommended it.
  • David H
    Vallances deeply personal memoir is both beautiful and utterly absorbing. With intellect humour and compassion, she weaves together the multiple and complex strands, of her own very personal journey back from profound brain injury. Told with an unflinching and often confronting honesty, A memoir of my brain is moving, reflective and ultimately a hugely rewarding read.
  • Katrina
    an Incredibly emotionally ravaging and inspiring account of life after a brain injury ...this books draws you in from the first page and keeps the pace going as you join in an incredible journey of pain, loss, discovery and hope. A must read for anyone who loves memoirs.
  • Aye See
    Inspirational. Brutally honest. In turns funny and heartbreaking. With wry humor, this book had me riveted from the first page. The resilience of human spirit that refuses to be daunted by adversity. It’s a story that needs to be shared. I highly recommend this book.
  • Vicuña
    Wow, what a read! One of the best non fiction books I’ve read...ever. Honest, compelling, a tale of courage and truth.Sarah Vallance has written one of the most remarkable and memorable autobiographies I’ve read. It’s powerful, articulate and an extraordinary story of a personal fight against the odds.Sarah suffered serious brain trauma after being catapulted from horseback. Initially, she seemed OK, but after a day or two, it became clear ...
  • Kathleen A
    Hard to put downThe author presents her life in a stark way but very readable. Amazing what she has accomplished and how she perservered.
  • Karen Levay
    Sarah’s life was upended with a traumatic brain injury. Her memoir tells how she “recovered” her life. She is honest about her life choices and history even if it sometimes is a bit hard to understand the reasoning.
  • Vikki
    Prognosis was an interesting book. The brain’s capacity to adjust and learn is nothing short of amazing. I was stunned by the fact that her brain injury didn’t present more symptoms on impact. I admire her persistence in relearning all that she had to relearn. Parts of it were very repetitive and I would have liked to see her take more action to address the emotional side effects of the brain injury.
  • Olga Hammock
    I found this a fascinating account of how brain damage affects the sufferer. Vallance is honest and open about her failings but also non- self-indulgent and matter-of-fact. Very interring and well-written. I wanted to keep going.
  • Mary
    One of the Kindle free books this month on Amazon.
  • Roanne Mountford
    This is a standout memoir. The setup (a traumatic brain injury) is gripping but it’s the long game - the bittersweet human moments of relationship with family, lovers and oneself, and Sarah’s beautiful animals - that really bewitched me. The writing is witty, spare, paint-stripper honest. I read it fast and hard, hoping things were going to be okay, willing everything to come good, for Sarah’s menagerie of dogs and cats to pull her through....
  • Tara Wasinger
    The book started out strong, and I was even recommending it to my friends, but then about halfway through it went downhill fast. I bought this book to learn more about traumatic brain injury, not lesbianism and sacrificing the things you love for your hot girlfriend. If the author had been hiding it her entire life and then all the sudden came out BECAUSE of the brain injury, then it would have had more of a place in the story, but she had alread...
  • Max
    What a great book. I couldnt put it down. Beautifully written and a fascinating story.
  • Linda
    A candid, compulsive, authentic memoir. This rollercoaster read which is often uncomfortable with its visceral truths, reminds us that it is our choices that make us. This author chose to boldly grab onto and rebuild her life with a force which left me with a huge respect for her achievement. You can't read this book without applauding the power of the human/animal bond as well.
  • Tanya
    I've just finished reading Prognosis by Sarah Vallance - and although I don't write many book reviews I feel compelled to write this one. I loved this book for so many reasons and on the off chance the author reads this review I want her to know it and to thank her.Before I get into what makes this book so good, though, I just want to address one thing - to say this is a book by someone who really, truly loves animals. I am a vegan and animal lov...
  • Barbara
    When Sarah Vallance fell off a horse she didn't expect it to change her life forever. Diagnosed with a 'mild' traumatic brain injury (TBI), she soon found out that the term 'mild' didn't mean it wasn't still very serious. She was working on her PhD whilst doing a well-paid and highly responsible job but was told she'd have an IQ of about 80 and would never work again.A chance meeting with a neuroscientist in a park led her to discover that it's n...
  • The Nashville Wife Reads
    This was such a good book. I first rated it 4-stars for a few reasons but one being this was my first memoir. I had absolutely nothing to judge it on. Then the more it sat, the more my mind absorbed all I read, I realized this was truly a good book, especially considering it was the first she wrote. It deserves all it's 5 stars. I want to write a good review and I'm far too tired to do that so I will continue this later. Just do yourself a favor ...
  • Libre Paley
    This memoir charts an extraordinary journey. It begins with dramatic effect, charting the day Sarah Vallance was thrown from a horse and sustains alife-changing head injury – from which she walks away, initially believing herself to be unharmed. From the events of that one fateful day, we also gain glimpses of Sarah’s character, as a risk-taker, animal-lover, an independent woman, successful in her career,and a PhD student. She strikes me as ...
  • Kay
    I read this because of Kindle First Reads and, if it hadn't been free, I'd want my money back.Vallance comes off as a heartless ass, using others so she can get whatever she wants and emotionally abusing her partners. Actually, everyone but Louise in this book seems to be kind of terrible. What can I say, I have high standards for humans I interact with.(view spoiler)[And no, Sarah, your ex did not "make you kill your dog". Fuck off with that gar...
  • Jessica
    Vallance's poignant memoir sells her woefully short. Her achievements in the face of brain injury and abject rejection by her family are truly remarkable. To me, this is not only Vallance's story about coping with and to some degree conquering TBI, but it also shows a) how far we've come since the 90s in understanding brain injuries, and b) that other health care systems aren't always the panaceas that Americans want them to be. Vallance is pract...
  • Susan Kaplan
    The Hidden Trauma of TBISarah Vallance sustained a traumatic brain injury as a young woman after being thrown from a horse. Although her injury was initially dismissed as mild, after years of struggling to reclaim her wits, as it were, she finally discovered that her injury was not mild, but severe, as is demonstrated by the deficits after the accident. A PhD candidate in the middle of writing her dissertation in Australia at the time of her acci...
  • Mizloo
    The author is a brain injury survivor, whose dearly loved father died the year before her injury. My dearly loved husband died the year before my head injury. The loss of the trusted, loving companion just before debilitating trauma leaves a patient at the mercies of an often impersonal healthcare system.Many of the personal details in our lives are much less comparable, but the plethora of damage experiences was riveting; It is so hard to proces...