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The long awaited unabridged review of Hope Solo’s book. No one was waiting? What?

There has been a lot of discussion in the sports world over what Hope Solo’s book is about. Why she wrote it. Much of it negative. Discussion might be too strong of a word considering many of the people talking the loudest don’t seem to have read her book at all. I am looking at you espnW. Do they really not care to learn more about the woman they keep writing articles about? When journalism as we know it finally breathes its last I’m going to propose “self inflicted wounds” as the cause of death.

What is her book about though?
It isn’t a tell-all about Dancing with the Stars. Sorry reality tv fans. You get just a chapter in the back. It also isn’t a book that is going to bring the USWNT down to its knees. The part about the 2007 debacle is what we all knew anyway. The bones of it at least. Only now fleshed out with her POV. 2007 is an inescapable part of her life so of course it would be included in her bio. There is nothing malicious about it. It is just part of her life.

By the 2008 Olympics, most of the major players in the plot got taken out by an aggressive case of bad karma anyway. In the long term, the remaining people worked really hard to grow up like in the case of Rampone, Tina, and Abby. As it is written the important people get a resolution in the book as in life. That’s quite a bit more peace than the media ever given her on the subject for example.

What is it about if not those two things the media keeps going on and on about?
To me it’s a book about someone who chooses to be happy. Who chooses that over and over again despite all evidence in life that happiness just isn’t in the cards for some people. You have to fight for it and continue to fight and you have to be ready to treasure the smallest shard that comes your way.

The two major figures in the book, Hope and her father, both came to that resolve during different stages of their lives. That isn’t to say it is some kind of moralistic story full of lessons or whatnot. Well, maybe if you are a fan of grace through fire Flannery O’Connor Southern gothic style. Pacific Northwest gothic? Twin Peaks? David Lynch can direct her movie. Someone, make this happen! Ok, back on topic.

Choosing happiness leaves her open for more hurt, often by people who should know better, but that choice can also be an act of defiance. Her father. Her mother. Family love tinged with the effects alcoholism and grifting. Always a battle between the two. More than once she seemed to be afraid the worst parts of her own personality were legacies of that. Would she be lost in the woods for as long as her parents were? Take soccer away and what would be left?

She is amazingly optimistic just by continuously trying for her dreams despite what the universe seemed to be telling her. It all goes back to what her grandmother would often say:

Don’t let the devil steal your joy.

Thoughts on the rest of the book under the cut, semi-related (or not) ramblings about introverts, and uneducated speculation. Best if you’ve read her book first. Maybe had a glass of Walgreen’s wine too. I go on for a few pages. | Amazon/B&N

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