This is a story about how to embrace life when it doesn’t work out the way we had it planned.
On a balmy Tuesday during the summer before ninth grade, a car accident on a rain-slicked highway flipped Janna’s safe and happy world upside down, and her adolescence dissolved into a summer of restraining belts, feeding tubes, therapy schedules, and chicken salad sandwiches from the hospital cafeteria. Since that day, Janna’s life has been a navigation through the inescapable struggles of her father’s brain injury, a study of her mother’s resilience and unconditional love, an a challenge to find her own identity and acceptance as an adult.
Brain injury is insidious. It’s tricky and tiresome. For those asked to love and support a TBI survivor, the struggles are deeply personal and often unresolved, and the victim’s recovery is repeatedly thwarted by insurmountable obstacles, along with the battles fought with insurance companies for proper patient care and effective treatment. Janna Leyde’s coming-of-age memoir encompasses the acute and lasting effects of brain injury on both survivors and their loved ones. He Never Liked Cake is for children who feel the weight of life crashing down, for families who fight for the new normal, for survivors who fail to see how life has changed—and, for everyone, this is a story about how to embrace life when it doesn’t work out the way we had it planned.
What readers of He Never Liked Cake are saying...
"Leyde captures you in the first pages of He Never Liked Cake. The story is beautifully and honestly written and makes the pain and resulted resilience from a tragic situation relatable to anyone. I found myself in tears... "
"Excellent insight on what families go through when a loved one has a TBI."
"As the daughter of a woman who incurred a traumatic brain injury, and a Ph.D. student in Rehabilitation Counseling Education, this book hit both the pertinent factual information of the disability as well as the heart wrenching position that having it occur within a parent puts children in. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone I know."
"Janna's writing makes it easy to fall right into the narrative, and for anyone who does not live with brain injury, this is an eye opener to the ups and downs of what families go through."
"This memoir is as real as it gets. A masterful narrative, Janna layers a very raw experience with the kind of wit and humor that you would expect from a good friend telling you a story in person. Like pouring the guts of her heart out over a couple bottles of wine. What emerges is a wonderful summer "beach read" with depth. I couldn't put it down long enough before my mind drifted back. I had to finish it cover to cover in a 24 hour timeframe, the type of seduction every writer hopes to achieve."
"This book is so real and so moving. It took me a while to read because it broke my heart in the most beautiful way over and over again. Janna's words, honesty, and ability to include me in her childhood make her book so much more than a book."