by Marguerite Keiffer

" has amazed me to see how Jesus is the closest to me when I'm the weakest and most vulnerable."

An only child having to deal with medical problems since the day of her birth, Keiffer finds solace from her trials by playing the piano, but amid Keiffer's fair share of health issues, nothing prepares her when—at 37 years of age—a massive stroke renders paralysis in her left hand. It is during her hospital stay that she experiences a bright light accompanied by a voice assuring her that she will not only get well, but also work with children. "My motive for writing my story is to show how one can find peace and even joy in the face of tragedy... to give hope and inspiration to those whose lives are riddled with thorns."

Keiffer's memoir reflects an ordinary girl's life in the midst of extraordinary circumstances. Considering the time periods of her childhood (Great Depression and World War II), the 84-year-old author has wonderful opportunities to meet renowned composers and musicians. Keiffer's short narrative—replete with pictures and newspaper articles—includes notables such as Sergi Rachmaninoff, Ignace Paderewski, Virgil Fox, Claire Coci, as well as the famed pianist Siegfried Schultze, who plays a critical role after Keiffer's stroke. The author shares how she often wonders whether or not the spiritual message will come to fruition since she never fully regains use of her left hand. Regardless, Schultze opens a new chapter in her life when he mentors her in the art of teaching piano without demonstration. As a result, the second half of her spiritual message (regarding working with children) is answered in more ways than she could ever dream or image. Despite the fact that there are many references to classical music and Christianity, Keiffer's personal health experiences connect with a wide audience who desire to read inspiring literature.

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