I'm always hesitant to read a book written by an athlete. An athlete's play on the field is really all I want to now about most of them; a book feels like a mass produced piece of self publicity. And to be honest, how exceptional the book is depends on how good the athlete's ghost writer is. If you think the athlete actually writes the book all by themselves, I have a bridge to sell you.
Hope Solo's autobiography, "Solo: A Memoir of Hope" was an enthralling read. I had no intentions of reading the thing. I usually never get into an autobiography for the reason that I have a hard time believing everything because the writer glosses over the bad stuff in their life and usually over emphasizes the good.
Solo not only highlights the bad, there were moments when I was reading it and I thought it was a tragedy. She doesn't shy away from any of the dark times in her life. It's a very confessional book that shines a light on things that a lot of female athletes in a million years would share with the masses.
The chapters on her incredibly sad childhood were the most fascinating part of the book. She could've kept a lot of what her father did to her and her family private, but she dives right into it, embracing the fact that it's a part of her past and it shaped her into the woman she is today.
Solo's father Gerry was homeless and always in trouble with the law. One day he took Solo and her brother without their mother knowing and took them on a trip to Seattle. A few days later, her father was arrested in a Seattle bank. I couldn't imagine how confusing that must've been for Solo, who was only seven at the time of the kidnapping. Going through that sort of trauma would make most people want to insulate themselves from others. She did the opposite in life. She found the need to compete her avenue of happiness and joy, which, unfortunately, a lot of young people with troubled pasts never find.
An athlete's autobiography is only good unless they have something important to say and share. As I read Solo's book, I felt like she was writing about things that most athletes would never dream of revealing.
Solo shares how she once kissed a French girl to just see what it was like for gay teammates she had. She writes, "So we made out. Interesting but not life-changing. I was straight."
It's honest and strangely compelling. I like to be strangely compelled when I read any book; it's better than being strangely bored to tears.
Her rocky relationship with Abby Wambach and what she did to the girl that cheated with her "first love" boyfriend in high school is really entertaining. You don't cross this girl.
Note: I've been an Arsenal fan for nearly a decade. My cousin got me interested in the club at a young age.
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