Review of The Most Unlikely Champion

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Fola_M
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Review of The Most Unlikely Champion

Post by Fola_M »

[Following is a volunteer review of "The Most Unlikely Champion" by Vera Koo.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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“The most spectacular rise can only come when you fall". This quote from the memoir, The Most Unlikely Champion by Vera Koo, resonates powerfully with me not only because it is a fact, but because of my personal experiences. It is indeed true that sometimes you can only achieve amazing success after devastating failures.

This is Vera Koo’s memoir, a petite middle-aged woman who emigrated from China when she was 12. Raised in a conservative household, her traditional Chinese upbringing made her believe that a woman’s place was with her husband and children. However, she broke the mould to become an 8th-time winner of the Bianchi Cup, a National Rifle Association pistol sponsored Championship, women's division. This is especially spectacular for so many reasons; she was middle-aged, initially afraid of guns, and it was predominantly a male-dominated sport.

The story starts by thrusting us right into the middle of the action, where she gets injured while preparing for her next Bianchi Cup competition. Then, we are taken down memory lane to her childhood and her relationship with her family. This going back and forth in time would happen throughout the entire duration of the story. She talks about how she met her husband, her relationship with her in-laws, and why she decided to tread the path that would make her one of the world’s most accomplished professional women’s shooters.

I love how she didn’t hold back in revealing everything about her life. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to divulge such intimate details about her personal life, but it paid off tremendously. I believe women all over can relate with so many of her struggles in the book and perhaps help them navigate their own stormy waters too. I know it certainly helped me.

I also love her resilience and grit. No matter how hard life knocks her down (in a couple of instances, literally), she always gets back up. This is a classic case of the saying, "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. She credits this doggedness to her faith in God and knowing that He will always be there for her, no matter what. She has consistently applied this principle to every obstacle in her life, and her faith has given her the strength to carry on, despite the odds.

My only issue with the book is that despite Vera coming off as a courageous and feisty woman, there were some instances where she made it seem okay for someone to get away with atrocious behaviour. After she suffered a personal betrayal, it felt like the other party wasn't exactly remorseful about the situation. While I understand it was her personal decision to forgive, it seemed like Vera condoned the behaviour by not holding the person responsible enough for their actions. That was the only letdown of this book because I believe it sends out the wrong signal to others in the same situation.

Regardless, I’ll still rate the book 4 out of 4 stars for being such a motivating read. It is well written and truly inspiring. It didn’t lag or get boring, and the lack of errors made the whole book seamless to read. I can therefore confirm that it is exceptionally well-edited. Her writing style is classy, so there’s no profanity. Fans of Christian memoirs and biographies would benefit greatly from this book as it would help renew their faith in God as they go through life’s struggles. Perhaps, this might not be suitable for people who are not of the same faith.

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The Most Unlikely Champion
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