2 out of 4 stars
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Tunnel Vision, A Focused Life is a non-fiction book by Jan Attard. It describes the challenges faced by the author when the custody of her four children was granted to their father, an abusive and arrogant man. The author shares snippets of her life story as she attempts to rebuild her life and regain custody. Her secret lies in developing tunnel vision, which is both a coping mechanism in the face of life’s trials and a focused system for pursuing one’s goals. Attard perfectly describes the way she pursues her goals and recreates her outlook on life because of this. Her book also includes advice on a wide range of subjects including parenting, finance, and goal setting.
What I liked most about this book was the author’s fearlessness in sharing her story. She did not censor her feelings and thoughts when she described the hurtful experiences in her life. She also gave adequate information surrounding her history and her ex-husband’s history. This helped me to get a better understanding of their personalities and why they behaved the way they did. For instance, her ex-husband came from a culture where women were expected to obey their husbands in every way possible. This led him to exert control in all areas of her life, even discouraging her from accessing pain medication during her pregnancies.
I also appreciated the practical advice Attard provided. She encouraged readers to take life one day at a time when faced with adversity. Journaling, gardening, and caring for others helped her to find new purpose in her life so she willingly inspired readers to do the same. She also advised readers to cherish every moment, take the time to appreciate nature, and find the good things in each day.
Unfortunately, the repetitiveness of some things in the book was off-putting. For example, Attard blamed the family court system several times for granting custody of her children to her ex-husband. She also repeatedly mentioned her son’s lowest point where she found him curled in the corner of his room.
Moreover, I did not like the layout of the book. Attard’s anecdotes, advice, and the application of the tunnel vision system were all rolled into tight chunks of text. The only segmentation was in the form of chapters. This made the book difficult to read. It would have been better if the text was interspersed with subtitles, lists, and images. A clear, step-by-step approach of the tunnel vision system would have also been a nice addition instead of having fragments of it scattered throughout the book.
There were very few errors in this book. These were mainly typos and comma splices which did not ruin my reading experience. Attard’s bravery in sharing her story and the practical advice she gave were the best features of the book. However, the repetitiveness and the book’s poor layout diminished my enjoyment of it. Therefore, I am awarding this book 2 out of 4 stars. I think it will appeal most to women who are going through custody battles, domestic abuse, and divorce. People who are not facing these challenges may not enjoy this book because Attard’s life story will not be relatable to them.
Tunnel Vision, a focused life
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