Yesterday, I finished reading what may be the best narrative non-fiction I have ever, or may ever, read.
I was enthralled, engrossed, riveted, completely pulled in. I did not want to put it down, and I knew I would be sad when I reached the last page and there was no more to read.
I wish I could read it again for the first time.
Even though I knew from the beginning how it would end, reading about how nine boys and two men and the events of the time came together to create something special and wonderful and utterly unique was — incredible.
If someone had dreamed up this story in their imagination, it would be so unlikely as to be unbelievable. That it is all true, made it so emotionally resonant for me. Honestly, I get a little choked up thinking about it.
The book is “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown. My sister sent it to me after reading it, knowing that it would interest me, both because it has the Seattle connection (I’ve lived here since 1988) and because it is about rowing (I’ve taken a couple rowing classes and know someone who rows competitively).
The odds and obstacles that this team overcame were so numerous. There were so many times where events could have taken a different turn. But through luck and persistence and — literally — pulling together, they achieved something transcendent.
If you want to read a good synopsis of the book, click here.
Better yet, go get a copy.