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3.4 out of 5 stars
6
Drawn To The Rhythm
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:$20.42+ Free shipping


on February 11, 2002
Sara Hall has transcended the memoir genre with this inspirational account of the emotional and physical pain she underwent in order to evolve into a fully-integrated human being --and also,along the way, become the World's Masters Champion in the woman's single shell, one of the most demanding sports in the world. Marital abuse comes in many forms, and in Hall's case, the years of verbal disparagement and icy indifference left no physical scars - but the mental damage to her psyche was profound. The day that turned her life around was the day she glimpsed a figure racing along the water in a rowing shell and, like Paul on the road to Damascus, she was forever changed. What followed was the grueling effort (often surreptitious as well, as her husband did not approve of any activity of hers not related to the house or the children)to become proficient in an extremely demanding sport. That she was 44 at the time did not deter her. That she had to sneak out of the house in the pre-dawn hours to practice, without coach or companion, did not deter her. She knew in her heart and soul and gut that she wanted to do this, and to do it well. As she gained confidence in her abilities, she also found herself strong enough to break away from the suffocating circumstances of her personal life. Both her athletic skills and her growing self-confidence have been achieved at great cost.
The physical agony of turning oneself into a champion in any sport has rarely been described as well as this. It makes one realize that most of us will never have that defining moment experienced by Hall, and we certainly don't have the mental stamina and will power to arrive at the point where she now finds herself. Her writing is lyrical, tough, funny, and very honest. If she decides to leave the world of rowing, she has a bright literary future.
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on July 4, 2002
Ostensibly about a mid-life woman's "falling in love with a boat" and her struggles toward a realization of her personal gifts. Very feminine yet gender-neutral in its lessons, this memoir is an intimate look at a personal transformation achieved in emotional hardship but propelled by a sense of love, a sense of G-d's guidance, hardheaded Rocky-like stubborness, and lessons learned from childrens' stories like Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid. This book is a very good read and possibly personally transformational. Be prepared to get wiser as you read. I just bought it for my Gen X daughter. It's the sequel to REVIVING OPHELIA that I bought for her 8 years ago.
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on March 17, 2004
The Rhythm in Sara Hall's book is NOT sculling, as one is led to believe in the reviews. The book is a self-serving account of Ms Hall's priviledged life in which she seeks to blame her dispair in her adult life on incidents of abuse in her preteen years. She ridicules her life as a mother, trivializing the importance of being a presence in her childrens early years. Her life with her husband IS tragic, is it any of our business? She wants us to believe that winning is not what is important to her, yet the bulk of discussion on rowing focused on her accomplishments, placements, and medals. This is one of the worst books I have ever read, a complete disappointment.
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on March 13, 2002
Several weeks a friend sent me an e-mail concerning a book entitled Drawn to the Rhythm by Sara Hall.   I read his comments and was skeptical at first because I did not feel I would enjoy a memoir about a woman in her 40s who became a world-class sculler. But I bought the book anyway.
 Was I pleasantly surprised!   Sara has written a very exciting book depicting her life on the water and off.   She is an excellent writer and is able to capture the reader's interest with her story.   At times it's a very depressing story and then suddenly rockets to excitement, victory, and happiness.  
 Sara has transformed a very interesting biography into a "page-turner".  She is focused on two challenges in her life: first in her life with her family, and then in her time on the water with her rowing.   It amazes me that she's able to mold these two very different facets of her experience into a very intriguing story.   My guess many of you will despise the husband because he is such a jerk.   As my English Lit  professor might have said, the word jerk is strictly a euphemism in this instance!  
I won't try to convince any of you to buy this book, but I think if you do, you will hear and experience the incredible story of a woman whose life totally changed over the last 6 years.   I was flabbergasted in the last chapter where she even shows gratitude to her former husband, because if life with him had not been so difficult, she probably never would have pushed herself so hard in this new life and adventure.  
This is a moving and inspirational book, so if you don't have the time to read it, then at least buy a copy for your wife, sister or niece.   In fact, I am sending my copy to my niece in Concord NH because I think it will give her some real inspiration and she will enjoy reading Sara's story.  
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on March 7, 2002
Sara Hall has done something in her book, Drawn to the Rythm, that until now I thought was impossible. She addresses issues of spousal abuse without accusing an entire gender. Sara found comfort in a grueling sport, rowing, and an escape route from a troubling relationship with her husband. In becoming a World Champion she has offered a sterling example of the kind of strength it takes for anyone to set themselves free. Her writing style is almost musical, a tribute to her mother I suspect. Her story is heroic, in honor of all the strong men and women in her life - father, uncle, mentors, coaches, competitors, sons, daughters and yes, even her husband. Sara says that what a winner looks like is "a woman who lets go of her demons and takes her strength into the world." This is exactly what she has done in Drawn to the Rythm. She has found in her rowing (and her writing) ways to triumph over bitterness, sorrow, resignation and anger. If only all champions had such grace.
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on January 28, 2002
This is a beautiful book which I could hardly put down. It is particularly inspirational for women, however the message is universal. You can find your passion and be true to yourself. Usually stories of domestic abuse are clearly black and white but Hall's story is full of complexity and marvelous shades of gray. Kudos to Hall for pursuing her dream and breaking free from a damaging relationship. Readers are in for a treat with Hall's lyrical and moving descriptions of rowing. This is clearly a very special book!
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