4 out of 4 stars
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Triumphant Ride: One Man’s Successful Journey Despite His Formidable Challenge is a non-fiction book by Herman Cajigas Jr., (HCJ). He related how one imprudent action changed his life forever. He did not let this tragedy define his life but chose to triumph over it.
Herman’s daunting journey came to life in his book that comprises 187 pages (PDF format) and thirty-nine chapters. Most of the sections are only three or four pages long, focusing on one main event in the author’s life. The story flowed in chronological order beginning with a brief history of his parents’ courtship, marriage, and move to New York from Puerto Rico. HCJ continued the narrative with a description of his life-changing accident. He was only nineteen when the event occurred. A happy senior-class trip ended with HCJ in the hospital and learning that he would be in a wheelchair for the remainder of his life.
The subsequent chapters related the events and names of numerous people who impacted Herman’s life. He also shared how he and his wife, Tere, gave back to the community. They worked in premarital counseling sessions and started a scholarship fund at Florida International University.
The book contained numerous inspirational quotes. Some were original messages written by the author. “Change your outlook of life, and you change your destiny,” inspired HCJ to maintain a positive attitude, despite the outward circumstances of his life. The author shared another profound reflection that came to him after a verbal dispute with his wife. The author reflected: “Forgiving oneself, as well as forgiving any other who might have harmed you, is about not letting some offensive act affect or dictate how you live your life. You do not condone the act. You just not let it hold any power over you, thereby freeing you from that burden” (p 128). I enjoyed these quotes and had difficulty choosing a favorite.
Some descriptions would have benefited from a photo. I had difficulty picturing how HCJ was able to drive a car. A photo of the hand controls he used would have cleared up this confusion. I also had a hard time visualizing the “stand-aid” the author used to be vertical for specific periods of the day. I would have loved to see a picture of Tere, the author’s wife. I felt profound respect for her strength and perseverance.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The author shared his experiences with heartfelt honesty and profound strength for circumstances beyond his control. The inspirational quotes manifested the power an optimistic mental attitude produces to triumph over physical drawbacks. The book had less than five grammar errors. Although the author could have shown anger, the writing is refreshingly free of any profanity. This true story will inspire people experiencing adversity or tragedy in their lives. People with life-threatening diseases would receive encouragement from the author’s experiences. Herman’s book would appeal to a broader audience of people who are undergoing emotional, physical, or financial difficulties. His quotes and experiences will motivate readers to develop a triumphant attitude over any hardship they may be experiencing. “It is solely up to us to make the best of whatever we encounter.”
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