Duckworth, a soldier in her soul, makes no real effort at poetry or ornate excavations of the self; and yet, she has collected enough feats worthy of record to fill at least one strong memoir, a book whose contents are far more gripping, gritty and original than its bromide of a title might suggest ... the book’s most significant failing might be that she has lived through so much that she seems unable to recognize or explore the extraordinary nature of later chapters of her life ... Duckworth reported out facts of that day she previously had not known, and she spares no detail in her dispassionate recounting of the gory clumsiness that marks true crisis. The leavening heroics she also recounts are what make those passages bearable — just ... Having survived so many extremes of human experience, Duckworth seems to brush over details of her life that others might find remarkable, such as the two terms she spent as a member of the House of Representatives in the years following her recovery. We hear about the challenges of dealing with fertility issues and child-rearing while campaigning and serving in the Senate; but Duckworth makes remarkably little of how unusual it is for any woman to have a child, as she did, at age 50, much less one who has her particular history and her recurring chronic pain ... The sheer details of her life are so compelling — so, yes, inspirational — that anyone less plain-spoken might risk veering into sanctimony or sap. If Duckworth’s political career ever comes to an end, she could make a killing as the world’s most matter-of-fact motivational speaker.
Senator Duckworth’s memoir is a compelling and engrossing narrative that invites readers into her fascinating life ... Written with a consistently compassionate and honest voice, this book will appeal to a variety of people. Duckworth writes with the aim of sharing her authentic self, and she succeeds. This is one of the most approachable and inspiring political memoirs to date ... An excellent work that will allow readers to get to know one of today’s most unique political voices. Readers from a wide range of backgrounds will find something to relate to in Duckworth’s story.