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Tricia Downing used to be in the best shape of her life till summer of 2000 when life took a detour. She was coaching one afternoon when she had an accident with a car that turned directly into her path. The accident left her paralyzed. However, she selected never to give up in life. The novel Cycle of Hope: A Journey from Paralysis to Possibility gives an account of Tricia’s trip from the day she had the accident, during her stay in the hospital and her emergence as a world-class athlete.
The cause why Tricia Downing chose the title of the book
The message the title communicates
The thing that captured my attention about the book
The A. interesting and boring part of the book
B. The lessons from the book and why I would recommend it to someone else
Tricia did an excellent job. She gives an honest story of going through the worst-case scenario. She did not try to hide her anger and frustrations. She weaved the story from doom to possibility, and this is what makes the story inspiring.
The first clue to the plot of a story is always the title. I have read a great number of books where the author had to take the reader deep into twenty pages of reading to realize what the book was about. Tricia Downing on the other hand keeps it all open for interpretation. Then you thinks that by reading the title, Cycle of Hope: A Journey from Paralysis to Possibility, the plot of the story is clear. Her choice on the title was simple. It tells you what you will expect, a survival story, what it does not tell is how the story is told. Even more intriguing is what you do not expect, for instance, humor and jokes.
When I first read the title, I thought, “How can one come from paralysis? If so did the character really make it?” The title gives a hint, but it does tell the whole story. Tricia did some good job there leaving it open-ended. The title makes the story look modern, makes it feel like you should be expecting part two in a way. In essence, the title captured my attention. I guess, it is because I love inspiring stories and cycling. However, on the cover page, there is a photo of an athlete on a tricycle. Then comes this introductory quote; “…suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope and hope does not disappoint us. Romans 5:3-5” (Downing 2). Despite it being a give-away, it still sparkled my interest to read the first page, and that is all I needed.
Tricia is quite an interesting character. First, I had this expectation that she is a mature woman, who should be getting her way around settling and building her career until Martha is introduced. Martha is her stuffed animal primate, her confidante, the only person closest to her. On my part, though I would understand her pain, I was expecting Martha to be a person, a real person. That is a demerit, on Tricia’s part.
The situation in Tricia’s life at the hospital is that of pain and despair. I felt it, until she introduces Greg. Greg is a superb character, the man who breaks the silence, makes jokes, and eases the pain. To me, Greg is that friend or family friend who takes humor to another level, and he is the one who made me flip the pages to see what he did next. Greg is awesome, like asking, “Trish, did you poop yet?” Tricia has managed to turn graphically sad events to the moments of triumph, and that is what makes the book worth reading. The book has taught me that life is how you take. It is what you choose to do with your life that matters. Tragedies and fate do not decide what you do. The book clearly shows that passion, positivity, and hope is what makes life worth living.
There is no better way of finalizing my thoughts on this book other than to quote what Tricia Downing puts on page four, that “suffering is another name for the teaching of experience, which is the parent of instruction and the school master of life, Horace” (Downing, 4). In any case, Cycle of Hope: Paralysis to Possibility is a book worth reading. It will definitely transform the reader’s thoughts towards tragedies, and how to look beyond the scars. Again, it is definitely worth reading.
Downing, Tricia. A Cycle of Hope: Paralysis to Possibility. Authority Publishing, 2010.
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