Those who endure life-threatening situations and manage to survive often have a hard time letting go of their ordeals. Overcoming obstacles and returning to the land of the living are equally daunting. In this timely paperback, Laurence Gonzales, author of the bestseller Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why, takes a hard look at the stories of survivors of a shipwreck at sea, a bear attack, the attempted homicide of a loved one, the sudden death of a child, and the trauma suffered by soldiers during wars.

These survivors cannot afford to get imprisoned in the past: their challenge is to heal their bodies and minds so they can move into the future with hope. Gonzales shows the positive work being done to understand the workings of the brain in response to shock and fear. Some survivors are trying to change their memories while others are turning to activities which are liberating and meaningful. These valiant attempts reflect the art and science of resiliency.

In the last chapter, Gonzales shares 12 Rules of Life that can ease the way of survivors into a more humane and flourishing future. They include: be mindful, patient, tough, stay busy, stay close to your inner circle of family and friends, and find small things you can do that give you a sense of being normal.