Sweet Relief: The Marla Ruzicka Story

Jennifer Abrahamson, Author Simon Spotlight Entertainment $24.95 (266p) ISBN 978-1-4169-1778-6
This story of late human rights activist Marla Ruzicka, just 28 years old at the time of her death, might have just as easily been called ""Bitter Irony"": in April 2005, Marla was killed by a misdirected suicide bomber in Iraq, the country in which she worked tirelessly to improve the lives of innocent war victims. Beginning with California native Marla's first experiences with activism as a student, journalist and collaborator Abrahamson introduces a young woman determined to ""get involved and really make a change"" in the world, taking her mission to Cuba, Costa Rica and Kenya before setting her sights on the victims of U.S. warfare in the Mideast. The Washington Post's Kabul bureau chief Pam Constable recognized in Marla a ""determined agenda behind her carefree persona,"" and at times this book is an inspiring tale of that young woman's perseverance in the face of overwhelming tragedy and seemingly impenetrable red tape. But Marla is just as often portrayed as a ditzy California blonde-quoth Marla, ""I'm, like, so sorry we invaded your country!""-struggling with alcohol abuse, anorexia and manic depression. Abrahamson isn't quite up to the task of reconciling the extremes of Marla's personality, and the imbalance distracts from the heart of her story-the very significant contributions she made to the cause of war victims. Still, her narrative is a compelling look at the impact one determined individual can make.
Reviewed on: 09/25/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4169-3872-9
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-4391-6523-2
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