Not by Accident by Samantha Dunn
Reconstructing a Careless Life

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Synopsis

A nearly fatal riding accident forces a young woman to examine just what it is inside herself-and other people-that invites carelessness and injury.

"God touches us with a feather to get our attention. Then, if we don't listen, he starts throwing bricks."

While leading her horse across a narrow creek in the canyons of California, Samantha Dunn suffered a life-threatening accident as her horse inadvertently jumped on her leg, splitting it open and severing vital muscles and veins. Had a stranger not happened upon the scene, it's doubtful she would have survived.

This wasn't the first such incident-although it was the most serious-in a life filled with carelessness, risk-taking, and injuries. In this reflective yet humorous memoir, Dunn takes the reader through the stages of her long and painful recovery, the most important of which involved serious self-examination. A pattern of accidents, she learned, indicates other deeper issues bubbling below the surface. This last, near-fatal episode was a subconscious wake-up call to pay attention to everything she had been looking away from: her horse, who had shown clear signs of panic, and especially her complicated past and home life-including her seriously troubled marriage.

Dunn got back on the horse-literally and figuratively. How she did it makes for an entertaining, touching, and insightful book, memoir at its best.
 

About Samantha Dunn

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Samantha Dunn was raised in northern New Mexico and spent years in Australia and France. Her novel Failing Paris was nominated for the PEN/West award. She lives in southern California.
 
Published January 1, 2002 by Henry Holt and Company. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Not by Accident

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A major theme of her self-examination is her relationship with horses, especially Harley, the horse who injured her leg.

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Publishers Weekly

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Freelance writer and novelist Dunn (Failing Paris) spent the better part of her first 32 years as an "accident prone" person, though it took nearly losing a leg after being trampled by her beloved horse to realize it.

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