Echoes of an Angel by Aquanetta Gordon and Chris Macias

Book description:

When Ben Underwood became blind at the age of two, anyone would have thought he faced a life full of hardship and uphill challenges—a world full of things he’d never be able to see and activities he’d never be able to enjoy. But as far as his mom, Aquanetta Gordon, was concerned, nothing was impossible for Ben . . . and so he accomplished the incredible. Known as “the boy who could see with sound,” Ben mastered human echolocation—the ability to detect the size, shape and location of objects through the reflection of sound waves. By clicking his tongue and “seeing” the waves, Ben could ride his bike, shoot baskets, identify objects, and even play video games. Some called it a miracle, but to Ben and Aqua, the real miracles were the otherworldly experiences God gave Ben—physical and spiritual—that others couldn’t explain. Echoes of an Angel is the remarkable true story of how a child who seemed destined for darkness brought light to the world. It’s the story of a single mom who encouraged her son to push beyond his limits, even as her heart clenched with protective love and fear. And it’s the story of a family’s unshakable faith . . . in God and each other.

My review:

I wanted to like this book more than I actually did.  This is one of the few books where I read the description and some reviews before I read the story, so I expected to be emotionally moved by the book.  Perhaps I set the bar too high?

It is truly amazing that Ben was able to use clicks and echolocation to navigate his sightless world.  For me, the book would have been better if readers were able to read from his perspective – to get some insight into his feelings.  I think it would have made the book more authentic to me.

When telling one’s own personal story, it is easy for it to come off as self-indulgent.  For me, this book was a little self-indulgent.  As noted above, I think it would have been a better book from Ben’s perspective.  It goes without saying that Ben had obstacles to overcome, but the book didn’t capture those challenges.  It seemed much more about Gordon overcoming her challenges.

For me, the most emotional part of the book was looking at the pictures.  It was then that I could relate to Gordon the most, as a fellow mother.  When I saw Ben in the pictures, I could empathize with Gordon as a mother who lost her child.  I just wish more emotion had come through the prose of the story.

Echoes of an Angel is available in ebook format free today August 9, 2014 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Download it and see if it inspires you.

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