Friday, May 13, 2016

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

For June, our book club is reading The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. Published in 2013, this has been on my to read list for a while.

I was excited to start this book, but I may have given up on it had I not been reading it for book club. I began reading in fits and starts. I felt like I'd get into the story only to have the author veer off in another direction. I didn't feel compelled to continue, but it has such good reviews and many of my goodreads friends loved it, so I kept going.

I'm glad I did because I ended up enjoying this story a great deal. I loved Joe's story and how Joyce loved him. I wanted to smack his dad and step-mom, as they were completely selfish. I enjoyed hearing about the 1936 Olympics. Olympians didn't have the support of the US government that they do now. It was interesting to read about how Hitler's Germany duped the world during the Olympics.

There are so many lessons in this story. Lessons of the importance of working together, of allowing people into your life, of taking care of one another, of not giving up.

The ending and epilogue were great. What an amazing group of men they were, and what a darling wife Joe had. I loved the photographs that were included in the book, and one of my favorite parts were the excerpts from George Yeoman Pocock at the beginning of each chapter. He was a wise and kind man. My favorite was the one from chapter four: "It is hard to make that boat go as fast as you want to. The enemy, of course, is resistance of the water, as you have to displace the amount of water equal to the weight of the men and equipment, but that very water is what supports you and that very enemy is your friend. So is life: the very problems you must overcome also support you and make you stronger in overcoming them" (George Yeoman Pocock 53).

If you like true, inspirational stories that have a historical component, you will like this book. 

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

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