Friday, August 30, 2019

Book Review: Rounding Home by Sarah Swindell

ROUNDING HOME
by
SARAH SWINDELL
  Genre: Memoir / Family / Autism
Date of Publication: August 2, 2019
Number of Pages: 256
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In 1991, twenty-one-year-old Sarah, the recently divorced mother to two-year-old Hayley, moved from the dusty small town of Farmington, New Mexico to the bustling city of Houston, Texas with dreams of a better life. A year later, she was swept off her feet by Greg Swindell, an established Major League Baseball player who had just signed a lucrative contract with the Houston Astros and was quickly becoming the talk of the city. 
Six weeks after their first date, Greg asked Sarah to quit her job as a hairdresser and marry him during Spring Training in Florida. Over the next several years, Sarah's Cinderella story continued with the addition of three more children, a lifestyle only a few ever dream of living, and a love story even fewer ever experience.
That is until 2002 when her picture-perfect life came to a gut-wrenching halt, and Sarah was faced with more pain than she ever thought possible. For almost a decade, the puzzle pieces would cease to align due to an avalanche of events; a devastating autism diagnosis, a painful affair, multiple marriages, multiple divorces and her children's own personal struggles with self-harm, eating disorders, and attempted suicide. 
If you have ever felt lost, betrayed, or heartbroken, this story will inspire you to never give up on finding true joy and happiness again. It will prove there is no such thing as the “perfect family” and that difficult times can actually make you stronger than you ever dreamed possible.


PRAISE FOR ROUNDING HOME:

"Rounding Home takes you on a riveting journey through the eyes of an exceptional woman who embraced struggle, love, success, and the unimaginable, autism. Get ready to laugh, cry, and flutter with romance; it’s one hell of a love story!" -- Gena Lee Nolin, actress, author, advocate, “Thyroid Sexy,” wife & mother

"In Rounding Home, Sarah writes with gritty honesty, a deeply moving account of life with her autistic son. This testament to the resilience of the human spirit will touch your heart and soul." -- Gayle Nobel, life coach, autism mom, and author of three books about living with autism

"This story of the Swindell family is a poignant demonstration of how each family member responded and was changed, for better or worse, as they struggled to come to terms with how their lives had been altered. And although there was damage along the way, they ultimately triumph by rekindling the love that created their family unit in the first place." -- Dr. Bryan Jepson, author, physician, and father of two sons with autism




     I am normally not a fast reader, but I read this book in two weeks. It usually takes me a whole month. I could not put this book down from the very first chapter.  When I was reading the book, I couldn't help but imagine early 90's cinema coming of age story, then and now type of movie play in my head the whole time. I was reeled in right away and I was hooked until the very end.

This was a very well thought out non-fiction story. I enjoy that the author is very brutal in her feelings and owns everything that happened to her and everything that she did. It gives someone like me who is 24 and has past regrets that one day, they won't matter at all. Not that they matter to me today, but I'm hoping one day I won't have to dwell on them ever again. 

I also really appreciated that the author gives her other characters, her daughters, a voice in all this. She could have just told the story from her point of view and gave her thoughts on what her daughters were feeling through the novel, but she gives them each a part to tell each other how they felt without having to guess. 

I usually only put the top three things that stood out and made me enjoy a book, but I want to add one more thing. Sarah, the main and real-life woman, made me mad. She made me mad, she made me happy, she made me feel empathy and she made me remember that we are all humans that make mistakes and that's okay.

If there was going to be anything bad to say about the book, the only thing I'd have to say is sometimes that the author repeats herself. There are parts when she feels bad for what she has done and though I understand where she is coming from, she repeats herself a few times throughout the book and it was a tad annoying, though it did not take away from the overall story.

I give Rounding Home 5 stars. I recommend this book to anyone who is in the mood to read something relatable and may be feeling vulnerable. This is just a great book and one of my favorite reads this year. Until next blog, Happy Reading!




Sarah Swindell lives in the Austin area with her husband, Greg, a former Major League Baseball player and 2019 Texas Sports Hall of Fame inductee. Sarah is a commercial actress/model and has been working in the industry for over thirty years. She enjoys spending her free time with her four grown children and several grandchildren who reside in Texas as well. Sarah is an avid moviegoer, loves yoga and true-crime podcasts, and advocates for children and adults with autism and other disabilities. Her son was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of eighteen months and continues to touch peoples' hearts to this day.
WEBSITE  ⬧  BLOG     GOODREADS ⬧  TWITTER ⬧  INSTAGRAM AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE -----------------------------------------
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FOUR WINNERS: SIGNED COPIES OF ROUNDING HOME + SIGNED GREG SWINDELL BASEBALL CARD
August 22-September 1, 2019
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