ROW FOR FREEDOM by Julia Immonen


Crossing an Ocean in Search of Hope
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One woman's story of indomitable courage while rowing across the Atlantic Ocean.

Sickened by the knowledge that there are nearly 30 million men, women and children worldwide being used as sex slaves, Immonen was determined to do something to raise awareness of this modern-day slave trade. So she and four other women entered the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, a rowing race from the Canary Islands to Barbados. Intent on becoming the fastest all-female team, the author and her fellow rowers worked in two-hour shifts around the clock, battling wind, waves, seasickness and ugly sores brought on by prolonged exposure to the salt water. They learned to combat weariness, boredom, claustrophobia and anger as they rowed their way through 3,000 nautical miles and developed deep bonds as only such endurance can create. Blending detailed elements of life on board with that of her childhood, Immonen reflects on the inner struggles she faced throughout her life, starting with her abusive father and submissive mother, who suffered several traumatic emotional breakdowns and was placed on suicide watch just as Immonen began training for the race. What she learned about herself and her parents as she continued to push her body beyond normal limits is a testament to the human desires to love and forgive. "I often describe the row as the hardest but best thing I've ever done,” writes the author, who co-wrote the book with Borlase. "All of us can't row an ocean, but all of us can do something. And doing something starts by opening our eyes to the world around us and looking out for something that needs to change”—a philosophy to which many readers should relate.

An inspiring story of enduring physical and mental challenges to raise awareness of an important issue.

Pub Date: Sept. 2nd, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-529-10147-1
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: W Publishing/Thomas Nelson
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2014


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