The Bear's Embrace
A Story of Survival
By Patricia Van Tighem
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780385721653, 288pp.)
Publication Date: February 4, 2003
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On a chilly autumn morning in 1983, during a relaxing escape to the Canadian Rockies, Patricia Van Tighem and her husband were attacked by a grizzly bear. Although they survived, their ordeal was just beginning. For years Van Tighem endured numerous surgeries as doctors attempted to reconstruct her face and ease her pain. The nightmares that haunted her carried their own psychological burden. In many ways she had to redefine her sense of who she was. Yet she was resolved to recover–as a survivor, a wife and a mother.
Van Tighem’s tale is astonishing and beautifully written. Showing a resilience that has overcome even the most traumatic of events, The Bear’s Embrace is a truly inspiring testament to the power of the human spirit.
Patricia van Tighem’s story has been featured on National Geographic and BBC television. Trained as a nurse, she lives in a small town in the mountains of British Columbia with her husband and four children.
“Overwhelmingly inspirational. . . . Van Tighem’s story is a testament to human strength.” —The Plain Dealer
“Van Tighem has written an important and bracing reminder of what it means to be vulnerable in a world that has little patience for vulnerability.” —Los Angeles Times
“Beautifully crafted prose . . . . Van Tighem tells the story with grace and honesty.” —Nashville Tennessean
“Compelling and even suspenseful.” —Denver Post
“A literary marvel that describes the author’s experience with clarity and immediacy, reflects on them with calmness and candor, and draws the reader into a world that, in less skillful hands, might easily repel or terrify.” –The Globe and Mail
“Gripping. . . Addictive to read, impossible to put down. . . Extraordinary.”–Vancouver Sun
“Brutally honest. Tremendously disturbing.” –The Tacoma News Tribune
“Oddly compelling and suspenseful.” –The Arizona Republic
“Harrowing and vivid, Van Tighem’s narrative raises questions of random events and meaning, the bravery of surviving an attack, . . . as well as the healing power of telling and owning one’s story.”–Publishers Weekly
“Van Tighem’s story is a testimony of courage.” –Maclean’s
“An unsparing chronicle of fear and suffering and the hard-won courage that beat it all.”–Kirkus Reviews