I am not a big news watcher. I try to keep up on current events, so I knew about the bombing at the Boston Marathon, but I didn’t watch the news broadcasts as they occurred nor did I see the (now famous) picture of Jeff Bauman being wheeled away from the bomb site. So, this whole book was a revelation and learning experience for me.
In a straight forward and honest manner, Jeff describes his life, what happened to him that tragic afternoon, and then how he and his family picked up the pieces of their lives and began to move on.
He also describes what happened at the shootout between Tsarnaev and the police from the officers’ point of view (he heard multiple first hand accounts from the men who were there). He details the trauma to his body and mind- some of it is very graphic, but that’s how he experienced it.
I think this was a very intimate memoir.
In addition to sharing his inner most thoughts and emotions, he doesn’t try to make the people in his life look better than they really are. For example, the portrait he paints of his mother is very unflattering. She tends to drink to excess and then vent her emotions while under the influence.
Apparently she has behaved this way Jeff’s entire life, so he doesn’t think much of it. It’s very dysfunctional, at best, and alcoholic, at worst. But, it’s real and not something that he had to share with the world.
Jeff chose to share it.
At multiple points in the book, Jeff denies that he’s a hero, but he is. He’s demonstrated the resiliency of the human spirit and sheer determination to move on with his life by learning to walk with his new legs a mere six months after the bombing.
I sincerely hope that his life continues to move forward and that he finds more peace than is detailed in his memoir. He deserves that, at least.
I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. Thanks for reading!