Unmasked Young Adult Edition reviewed by Sara (14)

Unmasked by Turia Pitt and Bryce Lee is a raw, honest story of recovery, more specifically, Turia’s recovery.  After surviving a bush fire which left Turia with burns to 65% of her body surface and the amputation of 3 fingers, Turia has not given up, as many of us would have done, and shrivelled into a shell of her former self, but instead has taken an incredible road to recovery entailing more physical stress over the course of several years than most of us would experience in a life time.

Turia had always enjoyed running, and was good at it, so when she decided to run the ultra-marathon as part of a work event, it wasn’t anything her partner Michael, friends and family were all that worried about.  They were worried, however, when half a day after the event took place, they received calls telling them that while running, Turia and a few other runners had been caught in a fire.  She was in a critical position.

The next few years were as hard on Turia’s family as they were on Turia.  After surviving several operations to replace her burnt skin, Turia was on the road to recovery,  but the process wasn’t going to be easy.  She had to relearn basic day-to-day skills, including feeding herself and walking.  One thing that remained consistent, however, was that Turia was adamant that one day she would compete in the Ironman challenge, consisting of a long-distance swim, bike ride, and marathon, all in one day.

It was this goal, this motivation, that gave Turia the mindset she needed to conquer the world – and she has.  She has regained the confidence to walk without her mask she originally used to cover her burns, she has run marathons, and she has raised millions of dollars of charity.

Despite her incredibly inspirational and, frankly, awe inspiring story, Turia claims that hers is not a story of personal achievement.  Instead, she says, it’s ‘a love story.’  A love story between her and Michael, the man who helped her get through everything, who was there the whole way.

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