4 out of 4 stars
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The Most Unlikely Champion is a memoir-autobiographical novel written about and by Vera Koo. What makes this memoir so special is that it concerns the life of a woman who is now over seventy-years old, but shares some of her life achievements and accomplishments as a mother, a wife and as a professional shooter. She has excelled in all of these areas, however, she particularly sees shooting as an accomplishment, which she began in her late forties and has continued up until the present time. She sees that taking up the hobby of shooting has helped her deal with many difficult times and grief and has helped her increase her self-esteem. However, her strong faith, belief in God and prayer are predominantly what has helped her throughout all she has been through.
In her life she has had to deal with low self-esteem, with feeling less beautiful than her sisters, not knowing her true father, getting married, losing a son, difficult in-laws, Chinese culture verses American culture, affairs and true love as well as the loss of a parent, grief and sadness. What must she excel in to get by?
She learns patience and resilience throughout her turmoils and seems to discover herself through taking up and excelling in shooting. What does this say about her and her past? Perhaps it is this, together with her husband, that help her to discover and find who she truly is. The book is 169 pages in length and written in the first person. It is set in America.
What was good about the book was firstly that it seemed to have been professionally edited. I did not come across a single spelling or grammatical issue in the entire book. She also does not use any profanity or erotica in the book. Hence, all readers of any age could read and enjoy it.
The story itself begins when she is a child and continues to the present. It was interesting to see the factors that shaped her together with her thought processes and experiences. It was also interesting that while dealing with low self-esteem she managed to learn new skills and become successful while still remaining humble. Some more inspiring issues were her slight build, while at the same time beating men in a predominantly male sport.
Although she says about herself that she was not beautiful physically, she has inclosed photos of herself and relatives and looks very good in them. However, that is more to the opinion of the reader. I had some issues distinguishing who each person was.
I admired the fact that she holds her successes as a blessing from God and that it was prayer that seemed to help her throughout her life. She believes her strong religious convictions got her through many difficulties. I found it inspiring how she dealt with difficult in-laws and apparent affairs and her insights into such issues. She seems to have developed a patience and resilience in life that most of us would not have in such situations.
There was nothing particularly negative about the book. Although the photos she includes in the middle section were not labelled clearly, so I found it difficult to know who was who.
I am rating the book four out of four stars, since I do not see a reason to reduce a star and since the book is well-written and inspiring.
It would most likely interest non-fiction readers, people who enjoy memoirs and biography and books with strong female characters. People who enjoy inspirational books about people who don't give up in the face of adversity are most likely to enjoy it.
There are references to children, parents and others dying and there are references to Christianity and Jesus as well as other religious experiences if anyone is put off by such things.
The Most Unlikely Champion
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