“How about if we read a book about rowing a boat?” This was – in essence – the question put to our book group. Rowing a boat. Sounded like I would sleep well (yawn). But then I started to read the book. And I could not put it down.
The Boys in the Boat is a number one bestselling work of non-fiction by Daniel James Brown. It is the story of 9 young men from varied and humble backgr0unds who attended the University of Washington. And joined the rowing team. What they did – together – was nothing short of miraculous. They defeated – soundly – their arch rival the University of California. They went on to defeat – soundly – all of the elite Eastern schools. The Ivy League schools. And they were selected to represent the United States at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. And – I’m not giving anything away – they won the gold.
The book centers around one young man, Joe Rantz, who was literally abandoned by his family when he was 15. He had no money. No nothing. But he was admitted to the University of Washington. And tried out for the rowing team. And made it. The book is incredibly captivating, I had tears in my eyes when it ended. If you want a wonderful, engaging book that draws you in — The Boys in the Boat is it. Check out the two and a half minute documenary on Daniel Brown’s website – www.danieljamesbrown.com. This is “Rocky” “Breaking Away” “Chariots of Fire” and “Billy Elliot” — with oars.