Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Well-Spoken Wednesday--Back to the Summit by Sen. Omer Rains Book Review

Summary from goodreads:  “You’ll never walk again.”

California Senator Omer Rains had been a politician on the global stage, a power-broking lawyer of A-list celebrities, and conqueror of some of the highest mountains in the world. But when a paralyzing brain aneurysm and stroke hit him at age 61, he became more helpless than a small child.

In Back to the Summit, Rains takes readers on a courageous journey toward recovery, both physical and spiritual, as he reflects on the people, events, and American history that shaped his life and gave him the strength to dare to walk again. Every flashback to the past offers insight into the philosophy that once saved his life and now defines his every action: “Get up from every fall, no matter how great or far, and continue to live life fully.”

Those who have suffered physical trauma may find hope in his story; their loved ones may gain insight and understanding. And any reader who has ever faced a mountain of a setback will be inspired to keep on fighting to live again.

Back to the Summit takes us on a journey toward physical and spiritual recovery that reminds us that anything is possible.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was not sure what to make of this book once I began reading it.  I was impressed that the senator chose to tell his own story without relying on"ghost writers," but this was indeed a long, detailed account of a man who lived most of his life during a time with which I was not familiar. It was quite a daunting task.
I was initially drawn to his story because of the brain injury he had incurred and survived.  I was not drawn into his early life that much. And even his political career failed to capture my interest. I could have done without much of the detail, profanity (which proved to be much milder than I first thought), and stories of his exploits. I had planned on giving this book a three- or four-star rating.  I felt this book was written for a generation previous to mine.
However, I began to find myself talking more and more about this book with others.  I got past the halfway point, and I suddenly found myself drawn into the storey.  The stories of his travels, ex-wife troubles, and physical ailments began to engross me.  I had never heard of some of the places he visited.And as I read of all the wrongs he had suffered quietly throughout his life, I was stunned.  I found myself saying that he was a better man than I would have been. And I marveled at the fact that he did not let bitterness and hatred eat him up and consume him as I have seen those horrid feelings do to those who are closest to me. The way he responded in word and deed tended to put me to shame.  Here he is a religious man who acted more Christlike than a lot of people who call themselves evangelical Christians-myself unfortunately included.
Yes, Senator Rains has indeed won me over. The very fact that he is living, breathing, and living a more active life than the majority of people half his age is a miracle and a tribute to him. i have decided that the book deserves a 5-star rating, and I would whole-heartedly recommend it to the majority of my readers.  There are some "colorful" words in the pages, but I found that any of the language used really was not too offensive in light of the story being told.  It is a true saying that no matter how bad your lot in life may be, there is always someone worse off than you!  If you do not believe me, I challenge you to read this book and see for yourself.

The author provided me with a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated in any other way, and all opinions are 100% mine.

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