(I received the Kindle version of this book, free of charge, from Netgalley in return for an honest independent review.)
Overcoming adversity and living life to the full My rating: 5 out of 5
Publication Date 9 August 2016
This motivational memoir is about Brad Snyder's life from approximately 5 years old through to his 30s, during which time he experienced enormous life changing events, including losing his eyesight.
The US Naval Academy and explosives disarming training was riveting. The emotions of being out in Iraq and Afghanistan really showed through. The narrative - all from Brad's perspective - focuses on what he feels is important (his family features often), so does not dwell on the downbeat parts of his life, but rather uses them as a time of learning to enable him to move on. There are times of heart racing drama, times of deep sorrow as friends and team members are lost and poignant moments that brought tears to my eyes.
The first half of the book follows Brad's fascinating life before the moment when he loses his eyesight in an explosion. The second half is about getting to grips with being blind, like how to do the washing up, and working out a strategy to overcome these problems instead of just getting frustrated and despondent about them. The books takes the reader up to Brad's hopes of competing in Rio de Janeiro in the 2016 Paralympics.
The message of the book (to my mind) is about learning to live with what you have, not what you don't have, and Brad uses his life experiences to illustrate this. This is not a book about how awful life can be, but about how to overcome life's problems one tiny step at a time.
At the end of the book Brad sums up his philosophy on life. This is a section I shall read again and again to put my world back into perspective, and learn from his motivational attitude.
Buy this book, immerse yourself in the story, and wonder at the moral and mental strength of Brad. Then re-read it.
Thank you Brad (and Tom) for your wonderful story.