3 out of 4 stars
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Against The Wind: Hope Sees The Invincible by Tony F. Powell is a book that narrates the several adventures of the author since he was a child. The writer starts by talking about his birth, after which he talks about a fire incident that claimed their home. We also get to read through Powell’s several experiences, from joining his dad to haul cod traps to owning an eleven-foot dory to participating in ski-boo racing to being involved in a shipwreck to becoming a pilot to being diagnosed with throat cancer. We follow the author on an amazing journey of hope as we travel with him through the air, water, and land.
Through this book, Powell hopes the reader is stimulated by our collective strength, determination, and humor in their journey to overcome the obstacles they may have to face along life’s path. If you are interested in other people’s memoirs, this book is for you. If you are interested in tales about flying aircraft, you’ll likely enjoy this one. Also, if you are interested in fishing, ski-boo racing, and ship sailing, you’ll enjoy this read; I recommend it to you.
First, it was nice to see the photos scattered all over the book, at least one at the beginning of each chapter. With the snapshots, I could tell the appearance of the author and various members of his family. That way, I not only felt refreshed but also felt more attached to them. Also, it was pleasing to see the pictures showing notes that proved the authenticity of some of the stories the author told. For example, I was pleased to see the picture of the newspaper publication where the author was crowned the king of the hill while he was still receiving treatment for cancer. I mean, I wouldn’t have believed the author if I hadn’t seen that picture because one would expect that someone receiving cancer treatment would feel weak, and it is tedious to participate in a ski-boo racing competition, talk more of winning.
I found the author’s stories inspiring, and I’m sure readers would as well. As I read through Powell’s experiences, it became clear to me that he is a respected member of his community, with a lot of goodwill. He must have achieved all these because of his attitude in his high and low moments, treating everyone around him with respect, as well as his willingness to make sacrifices for other people’s comfort or happiness. A portion of someone’s “thank you” note to Powell reads, “if it had been anyone but Tony, they would not have attempted to fly that day." She was referring to the unfavorable weather the author had to endure on air to save one of her twins when they suffered from meningitis.
However, I had mixed feelings about the author’s narrative depth. While I enjoyed the way the author explicitly narrated events, it seemed a bit overwhelming at times, especially when he deviated to tell another tale inside the story he tried to portray. A typical example of this is when the author recounted the events of his "search and rescue" contributions around Nain. He deviated while describing his view from the aircraft to dwell on a crash that took place at the head of Saglek Fjord in 1942. By the time I was done with the crash story, my interest in the previous story had already taken a nosedive.
Nonetheless, this book is not professionally edited. I found more than ten errors before the halfway point of this 521-page book. Because of this, I often had to reread several sentences to understand what the writer intended. As a result, I deduct one star to rate Against The Wind: Hope Sees The Invincible 3 out of 4 stars. The book is suitable for all religious groups. I say this because even though the author makes references to God, he doesn’t discriminate against any religion or non-religion. However, people that are affected by profanity may want to read with caution, as there are a few instances of non-borderline profane words.
Against the Wind
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