The United States' most decorated winter Paralympic or Olympic athlete tells how she overcame her Chernobyl disaster-caused physical challenges to win the world's best in elite rowing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, and road cycling competitions.
The first section of the book is short, fewer than 50 pages, but it echoes throughout the rest of the narrative. It tells of her seven years in an orphanage in Ukraine, which was worse than you might think. Details are doled out in brief sections set off by the word 'blink' — as if Masters is blinking back to a painful memory. This is a good way to handle material that deals with horrific child abuse, and the "blink" device recurs throughout the book to great effect ... Which, do you suppose, were the hard parts? All of them? And yet this impressive book makes them seem almost easy.
This book is not only for sports fans but also for the multitude of readers who will likely want to learn more about this remarkable and courageous woman, who achieved her dream despite challenges. Highly recommended.
While the story of her lifesaving adoption is heartfelt and touching, the author’s journey to unprecedented athletic success is the thrilling heart of the memoir. Narrated in amiable yet urgent prose, the text fully depicts her earnest struggle for identity and fight to overcome abandonment issues. Her confident story about overcoming odds also serves as a powerful teaching tool for younger readers facing similar circumstances.