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To Paddle My Feet

To Paddle My Feet by [Rita Sandford]

To Paddle My Feet by Rita Sandford is a heartfelt autobiography, portraying the author’s emotional yet highly inspiring journey towards achieving her dreams. The attack of Poliovirus snatched away Rita’s normal life– she lost her mother, became disabled, and was sent to the hospital to recover. Life in the hospital was harder than one could imagine– the harsh treatments meted out to the patients had a deep impact on the life of young Rita. Even though her feet barely had any power to move, she was expected to walk with the help of some assistance, which became all the more painful for her. 

At home, her life underwent a major change, as her father had remarried. She struggled to fit in with a family that was emotionally unavailable for her. When she lost her brother, she had none to console her tender heart. After her boarding school ended, her new-found zeal led her to find an independent life. She began living alone and went on to travel the world in her wheelchair– Australia, Africa, South America, and many other places. 

Author Rita Sandford’s story is a powerful commentary on how people with physical disabilities were treated in the 1950s. They were ousted out of society, with little compassion shown towards them. 

This autobiographical account can be read as a coming-of-age story, of a girl who learns to cope with her impairment, and how she goes on to live the life she had dreamt of, despite all odds. The linear plotline is simple to follow. The author uses simple and lucid language that kept me interested, if not hooked.

Besides her battle with the world, the book also depicts her struggle to overcome the inner demons. Her indomitable spirit allowed her to break away from the memories of a disturbed childhood, accept herself as she truly is, and pushed her to not lose sight of her dreams and aspirations. 

The author has a powerful voice all throughout the story that vividly illustrates her life before the reader’s eyes, but I think that more gripping storytelling would have allowed the plot to achieve greater heights, as it deserves. 

To Paddle My Feet is a heartfelt memoir that is ultimately uplifting and encouraging. This is a fantastic book to read in these especially difficult times as it will provide some comfort and with  a profound journey that delivers a sincere message. 

Pages: 309 | ASIN: B085TLFL4B

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