“It’s okay with me if you picked up this book because you’re curious about what it’s like to live with dwarfism. But I hope that you’ll take away much more–about adapting to the world when it won’t adapt to you.”
That’s exactly why I picked up this book — but like DiDonato hoped, I came away with so much more. Her writing is clear and enjoyable, and she holds no punches when describing her difficult, painful journey through life.
Born with diastrophic dysplasia, a rare form of dwarfism, DiDonato spent most of her young years not really realizing what was “wrong” with her. Her parents encouraged her independence, particularly her mother who sounds like a total badass, while giving her to opportunity to change herself through a series of bone-lengthening surgeries eventually 14 inches of height, and helped her live a life she never imagined.
I loved DiDonato’s style of writing — she’s funny, she’s honest, she’s great at explaining not only the technician aspects of her surgeries, but also how she felt at various points in time. The first time someone called her a “dwarf” — that story almost made me cry. There’s no doubt that she’s been through a lot. And she received a lot of negative attention for her surgeries, too. Like members of the deaf community who disagree with cochlear implants, there are people who feel like she should have dealt with her handicap without putting herself through surgery. But DiDonato makes it clear that she made this decision in order to seize as many opportunities for herself as she could, and it’s hard not to agree with her that she did the right thing.