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Praise for
Accidental Journey

“Lentz’s Accidental Journey is much more than another book outlining recovery from a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).  It is a novel that describes the effect on the survivor and the heartbreak of the family in the aftermath of a devastating injury…a complex tapestry of hope, mingled with despair.”


John W. Cassidy, MD, Co-Founder of the Neuropsychiatry TBI Program at McLean Hospital, Boston, and Founder and CEO of Nexus Health Systems, Houston.

“Richard Lentz has written a novel abounding with life’s complications. At once a probing family saga and the story of a man’s recovery from a traumatic brain injury, Accidental Journey is the richest sort of book. It immerses you in the injury, then pulls you out on the other side. You’ll feel as if you’ve gone through the recovery yourself, and, standing at the crossroads you find on the light end of the tunnel, you’ll be as resolute as these finely drawn characters. You’ll also be wiser. And fuller of heart.”


Peter Geye, author of The Ski Jumpers. 

“Love isn’t simple. Accidental Journey makes that clear, as Lentz deftly weaves a woman’s quest for love with the story of her husband’s traumatic brain injury—a quest that leads her to the realization that her only way to happiness is to lead a double life.”

Brian Duren, award-winning author of Whiteout

“Two collisions catapult the reader into this debut novel, setting in motion a family’s intimate encounter with love, loss, and an ambiguous future. First, Jeff and Cate, married with two young children and successful careers, having made a virtue out of avoidance, vigorously confront each other, raising hope for a better future. Then, a head-on collision leaves Jeff battling a traumatic brain injury, fighting to restore as much of himself as possible, and leaving his family in shatters. With great sensitivity, Lentz describes the impact of these two collisions in a book that is well paced, painfully slow and paradoxically urgent. A must read for any family that has experienced traumatic brain injury, or for any reader interested in the dynamic interplay of heart and medical science.”

Hal Steiger, PhD, LP, Psychoanalyst/therapist

“Accidental Journey is a well-researched novel based on the realities of life after successful Jeff suffers a traumatic brain injury in a car accident, causing impairment of memory, emotional responses, and cognition with devastating effects on job performance, marriage, parenting, friendships, and coping with daily events.  Dr. Lentz does a masterful job describing the effects on Jeff, Cate and the children. Although this account is fictitious, readers who have experienced the familial effects of serial concussions or significant brain injuries will find recognizable situations and insights.”

Jennine Speier, MD, Physiatrist and Retired Director of Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, Allina Health System, Minneapolis.

“An important book that chronicles the emotional journey faced by a family in the wake of a traumatic brain injury. Accidental Journey is filled with insights about marriage, love, and commitment as Jeff and Cate navigate the uncertain future after a life-altering accident. Leading the reader into the inner worlds of its characters as well as the medical complexity of a traumatic brain injury, Accidental Journey shows us what it means to be human in an imperfect and uncertain world. Richard Lentz, M.D., has crafted a powerful work of fiction that captures with honesty and compassion the transformations of a family in the aftermath of traumatic injury.”

Leslie Morris, Beverly and Richard Fink Professor in Liberal Arts, Professor of German, University of Minnesota, Co-convenor of research collaborative on Narrative Medicine, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota

“Although each brain injury recovery is unique, there are common hurdles and challenges that unite this community of survivors, family members and loved ones. Richard Lentz does a remarkable job of weaving these issues together and strikes the perfect balance of humor and heartbreak in telling the tale of one family’s journey.”


David King, Chief Executive Officer, Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance

“Richard Lentz has created an astute psychological portrait of a woman caught between her own needs and a necessary recalibration of her marriage. Her paradoxical solution turns conventional morality on its head–a thought-provoking read.”

Gloria A. Levin, PsyD, LP, Psychoanalyst/therapist

“Accidental Journey should be required reading for any individual or family member who has experienced traumatic brain injury. And for the rest of us who are just curious, Richard Lentz does a masterful job explaining the consequences of a devastating brain injury. He shows the reader how it changes a person, a marriage, a family, and every aspect of lives that must endure. Accidental Journey is worth the read.”

Cary Griffith, author of the novel, Cougar Claw, and winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Nonfiction

“Accidental Journey is a riveting account of a family upended by traumatic brain injury.  We learn along with Cate what it means to be married to someone whose brain has been ‘busted’ by a head-on car collision. Cate is a survivor, and so is her husband Jeff, but he is now a different version of himself. As Cate and their children Kayla and Ben struggle to adjust to their new reality, we are introduced to the basic facts of TBI from an expert in the field. Psychiatrist Richard Lentz offers a compelling, compassionate, and scientifically accurate account of this complex condition—and (just as importantly) how to cope with it.”

Madelon Sprengnether, author of Crying at the Movies, and Mourning Freud.


“Dr. Lentz carefully informed his narrative by drawing from not only relevant science on brain injury, but also through a several year process of consultation with clinicians who treat brain injuries in a rehabilitation setting. With this, in addition to his own rich clinical experience, he gives a novel that treats the experience of brain injury with both wisdom and compassion, recognizing the many factors that shape recovery and adaptation.” 


Kyle Harvison, PhD, ABPP, Board Certified Clinical Neuropsychologist

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