While safety and peace seem like they should be birthrights, some of us are born into situations that simply don't allow for these niceties. With a father who sold drugs and a mother who depended on them, the world felt anything but calm to author Mathew Chase.
Growing up in one of the toughest parts of Philadelphia, Mathew learned things in his first few years of life that most of us never have to learn, like how to survive hunger when there's no food in the house and no one there to notice . . . how not to cry or show fear while being beat with a shoe by a foster parent . . . how to mask any signs of vulnerability when passing the dealers and gangsters on the street . . . or how to fight when one or a bunch of kids jump you on your way home from school.
Somehow, Mathew knew he had a choice. He could conform to the status quo and become a victim of the mentality generated by this environment, or he could find a way to break free and build a different kind of life. Joining the U.S. military at age 18 as an exit route from what he'd known forever seemed like a promising solution, but it carried an exacting price tag of its own.
Mathew's childhood began to seem like it had been easy compared to the brutality of training and fighting in Iraq while witnessing the slaying of friends who had become like brothers. Would Mathew ever find home? Follow the author's journey through seemingly endless challenges and failures to understand how these selfsame circumstances mold him into a mature and courageous man. In Finding Home, pain and heartbreak are transformed to what they truly are - stepping stones to ultimate strength and personal freedom.
Mathew's story is one that you hate to read, because it doesn't seem possible that such horrific abuse still takes place in this day and age. We know it does, but it just seems so archaic. People today are more aware, aren't they? Don't we have bigger movements and help to stop this? Isn't the cycle ever going to end?
At the same time, Mathew is one of those lucky ones who consciously chose to break the cycle. He didn't want to continue down the road his family had started him on. He knew that better was out there and that he wanted to be better. He was also fortunate enough to meet people along his journey who contributed to his life change.
The first part of the book is devoted to Mathew's rocky childhood, dealing with the abuse, drugs, and fighting that permeated every home he ever had. He then goes into more detail about various experiences when deployed in Iraq, stories that none of who who have never been there will never be able to truly understand.
Every experience that Mathew had in his life helped to shape him. He was smart enough to be able to look for the lessons within both the positive and the negative experiences in his life. He sprinkles his wisdom within his stories and provides a summary at the end. If anything, you should take away from his story that you do have the power to alter your destiny and can learn from whatever life throws at you. Look within yourself and fight to persevere.
I did feel at times that he was rambling a bit, stringing together brief synopses of multiple events. Some of that could conceivably be reworked. But, Matthew is the teller of his story. He tells it the way that he wants to. I got the impression that we were hearing Mathew's unique voice through the entire read. It wasn't filtered through anyone else, just raw and true. Many kudos to him for being brave enough to put his story out there.
Giveaway ends November 2nd, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST
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