Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gabby (2011): Mark Kelly,Gabrielle Giffords & Jeffrey Zaslow

Gabby is an inspirational memoir written by Captain Mark Kelly and United States Congress Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Kelly describes the aftermath of the January 8, 2010 shooting of Giffords in Tucson, AZ and his final trip into space as commander of the space shuttle, Endeavor. The author gives details of Giffords miraculous recovery and her struggle to regain her ability to speak. He explains that she is able to comprehend 99% of what is spoken but is still at work on her ability to communicate her thoughts and feelings. The book also depicts Kelly’s adventures in space and his complicated work as an astronaut. He shares interesting details regarding life as the commander of the Endeavor shuttle. As a reader, I was immediately engaged in the events surrounding Ms. Giffords horrific shooting and her brave recovery. As a twenty-five year officer in the U.S. Navy and astronaut, Kelly is methodical and precise in his descriptions. There is a tinge of anger regarding Sarah Palin and her politics and the response of NASA administrators regarding the public opinion of Kelly’s decision to return to space after the attack. In my reading, I was struck by the extreme patriotism and work ethic displayed by both Kelly and Giffords. I was also interested in reading about their unconventional marriage. Due to their demanding careers, the spouses kept homes in separate cities and spent much time apart. The overall message is one of love, resilience, and Ms. Giffords amazing capacity to heal after such a traumatic event. In a culture that can sometimes seem troubling, this book demonstrates the beauty of two people who strive to make the world a better place through perseverance. Gabby perpetuates the theme that good will eventually win over evil and that strength in character is a still a noble calling.

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