One Call Away (Read this book!)
I finally had time to get back into the world of book reviewing for my Book Sneeze program. (I can still do them via ebooks here in China!)
The first book I chose to review is a memoir by Brenda Warner titled One Call Away.
I knew I wanted to read this book the moment I saw it. I’m not a sports fan at all. I’m lucky if I can recall the name of any football star, no matter how well-known they may be. But that’s changed just a little bit with my newfound love of Dancing with the Stars. I started watching the reality tv show about celebrities learning to ballroom dance two seasons ago. The women at my office would talk about it every week and were ridiculously excited about the show. I asked them about it, and it sounded interesting, so the when the next season came around, I gave it a chance.
I was hooked. I loved the humor of the judges and the awkwardness of the celebrities who couldn’t dance. But what I loved most of all was learning about the lives of “celebrities” (who to me, were just normal people, because I had never heard of most of them before the show) and seeing them grow throughout the show. Many of them begin the show with no confidence in their ability to dance or in their beauty/gracefulness. Some of the men are football players or wrestlers who have to reign in their massive bodies and glide around with a tiny woman in their arms. Some of them fail miserably, but others give it a lot of effort and turn into great dancers.
The first time I heard of Kurt Warner was when he competed on Dancing with the Stars last season. He was one of the football players that could definitely look awkward dancing (especially the Latin dances…the hip movement was rather lacking!), but when he worked hard, his ballroom dances somehow came across as elegant and graceful. But what impressed me most was his relationship with his family. After one dance, instead of staying on the stage to hug his dancing partner and listen to the critiques of the judges, he ran across the stage and kissed his wife. He dedicated one of the dances to his wife because it was their anniversary. They do a lot of “behind the scenes” with the celebrities on the show, and in his “behind the scene,” he learned how to be more delicate and graceful by having a tea party with his daughters.
When I saw Brenda’s book, I knew I wanted to learn more about this family. Were they the real deal? Or was this all a reality show drama to boost the ratings? Most American sports stars aren’t exactly “family men.” Most of the other football stars I’ve seen on the show aren’t even married. So how did this guy become so down-to-earth and in love with his family?
I won’t spoil all the details of this book, because it truly is worth the read. But I will say that the Warner family is absolutely the real deal. Their faith in God, their commitment to Him and to each other during good times and bad times is genuine. There were many moments in Brenda’s memoir when I laughed, moments when I cried, and moments when I gasped in horror/pain right along with her.
She tells her story and that of her family with a straightforward, honest style. She doesn’t leave out the less flattering moments. When I came to the end of this book, I prayed for this beautiful family and felt honored to have had a glimpse into their lives through Brenda’s memoir.
It normally takes me a week or two to finish a book of this size, but Brenda’s story was so fascinating and poignant that I finished it in two nights. (And I stayed up way too late both nights because I could not put this book down!) I highly recommend it with no reservations.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”