2/8/12

Book Review of Finding Fish

                                                            

I have had a lot of time to read recently.  Finding Fish is an autobiography about Antwone Fisher.  This is not a new release.  The story was published in 2001.  You may remember there was a was a movie made of this man's life story.  I thought I had seen the movie but every part of this story was new to me so I'm guessing I remember when the movie came out.  I remember that Denzel Washington directed the movie and had a part in the movie.  I even seem to remember a scene or two from the commercials but the life of this man was all new to me.

A very tough story to read because of all the injustice a child has suffered, but it does have a very happy ending.  This child never seemed to have a chance.  From the time of his birth until he was a young man, Mr. Fisher endured more pain and suffering than any one person should have to bare.  Physically as well as mentally.  The fear, the loneliness, the lack of self-worth is horrible.  No person, much less a child should be familiar with these feelings, especially on a day to day basis.  Young Mr. Fisher was dealing with how to survive his childhood.

While many parts of this life story tugged at my heart, the sociology background in me was drawn to what makes this guy different.  There were other foster children in the same home.  Right now, there are approximately 15,000 foster children in Pennsylvania alone.  Being in foster care does not automatically mean you will have a hard life or that you will turn to crime.  So what is it in each child that allows some to overcome such difficulties like Mr. Fisher did?  I don't have the answer, but it makes me wonder.

Mr. Fisher credits a teacher, one or two social workers (out of 13 throughout his childhood), as well as a few fellow servicemen who saw something in him that he did not himself recognize.  But I have to say, these moments of belief and support were few and far between.  I do not think I would have been able to take those "nuggets" and used them to better my life.  It's not that he had an overly optimistic attitude.  Not at all.  In fact, one social worker commented that he had a fatalistic attitude (Not surprising) and yet, he was able to keep himself out of trouble and overcome a horrible childhood and go on to have a productive, successful and happy adulthood.  When we are children, we are weak and vulnerable but this boy had a strength inside that allowed him to endure and do more than survive.

If you haven't read this book, I would definitely recommend this one.  It's probably not a good beach read (not light and fluffy) but that's okay, it's only February ;)

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