Dani Shapiro was rescued by tragedy. At the age of 23 she is a wreck. A Sarah Lawrence college dropout, she is living as the mistress--one of many, she would later find out--of her best friend's stepfather, Lenny, a high-profile New York City lawyer. It is the height of the excessive '80s, and Lenny goes to extravagant lengths to keep his woman--putting her up in a large downtown apartment, draping her in furs and flashy gems, and spiriting her away by Concorde to Paris for weekend flings. When she isn't with Lenny, Shapiro leisurely courts an acting and modeling career and actively pursues her drug dealer, who delivers cocaine to her door. She is at an expensive spa in California--at a far remove from the middle-class, orthodox Jewish home in which she was raised--when, one snowy night, her parents' car careens into a highway median. When she returns to New Jersey, to her parents' hospital bedsides, she begins the journey to discover and mine her inner strength. She succeeds, and though the process is as arduous as it is painful, Shapiro finds within herself the power to nurse her mother through nearly 100 broken bones, to survive her father's death, and to reset the course of her life. Slow Motion ends where its subject's troubles began: with Shapiro, newly single, re-enrolling as an undergrad at Sarah Lawrence.
Shapiro, who is the author of three previous novels, writes sparely and lacks the excessive self-consciousness that plagues some memoirs. She develops her story carefully, drawing readers ever closer into her most intimate thoughts and fears. This honest, and sometimes brutal account of loss and recovery is an inspiration. [via]