Review & Giveaway: Rounding Home by Sarah Swindell

ROUNDING HOME

by
SARAH SWINDELL
  Genre: Memoir / Family / Autism
Date of Publication: August 2, 2019
Number of Pages: 256
Scroll down for giveaway!
 
In 1991, twenty-one-year-old Sarah, the recently divorced mother to two-year-old Hayley, moved from the dusty small town of Farmington, New Mexico to the bustling city of Houston, Texas with dreams of a better life. A year later, she was swept off her feet by Greg Swindell, an established Major League Baseball player who had just signed a lucrative contract with the Houston Astros and was quickly becoming the talk of the city. 
Six weeks after their first date, Greg asked Sarah to quit her job as a hairdresser and marry him during Spring Training in Florida. Over the next several years, Sarah’s Cinderella story continued with the addition of three more children, a lifestyle only a few ever dream of living, and a love story even fewer ever experience.
That is until 2002 when her picture-perfect life came to a gut-wrenching halt, and Sarah was faced with more pain than she ever thought possible. For almost a decade, the puzzle pieces would cease to align due to an avalanche of events; a devastating autism diagnosis, a painful affair, multiple marriages, multiple divorces and her children’s own personal struggles with self-harm, eating disorders, and attempted suicide. 
If you have ever felt lost, betrayed, or heartbroken, this story will inspire you to never give up on finding true joy and happiness again. It will prove there is no such thing as the “perfect family” and that difficult times can actually make you stronger than you ever dreamed possible.

 

PRAISE FOR ROUNDING HOME:
Rounding Home takes you on a riveting journey through the eyes of an exceptional woman who embraced struggle, love, success, and the unimaginable, autism. Get ready to laugh, cry, and flutter with romance; it’s one hell of a love story!” — Gena Lee Nolin, actress, author, advocate, “Thyroid Sexy,” wife & mother
“In Rounding Home, Sarah writes with gritty honesty, a deeply moving account of life with her autistic son. This testament to the resilience of the human spirit will touch your heart and soul.” — Gayle Nobel, life coach, autism mom, and author of three books about living with autism
“This story of the Swindell family is a poignant demonstration of how each family member responded and was changed, for better or worse, as they struggled to come to terms with how their lives had been altered. And although there was damage along the way, they ultimately triumph by rekindling the love that created their family unit in the first place.” — Dr. Bryan Jepson, author, physician, and father of two sons with autism

review

Some of my all-time favorite movies are baseball movies, so I was immediately drawn to the cover art of Rounding Home. I was intrigued by the ghostly image paired with a baseball phrase that normally stirs up feelings of excitement since the base runner is about to score by crossing home plate. The muted colors of the baseball field and the washed out colors of the author, Sarah, standing barefooted with a bottle of wine at her feet is somber and beautiful at the same time.

The only thing I didn’t read in this book is the testimonials page at the very front. I didn’t want my review influenced by anyone else. I have quasi-photographic memory, so that’s a very real hurdle for me when reviewing books. I’m a big fan of the disclaimer about this book being a memoir; the imperfections of human memory and perception that might cause a slight distortion of actual events. I also love the hotline numbers listed below. Upon reading the Foreword, I already knew that I would experience a lot of different feelings from reading this memoir. Motherhood is a very different journey for every woman but we experience many of the same destinations or perhaps choose a slightly different route by our interpretations of life’s map. The Acknowledgements page confused me because it sounded like she was married to one man but was madly in love with another. Once you finish the book, you might come to the conclusion that she sort of was.

Sarah’s voice is very clear and her thoughts are organized, even though her life’s events seemed anything but. She mentions in the Foreword that she asked her editors to tread lightly in order to preserve her natural voice, which I think they did very well, but the proofreading could have been a little tighter. But to be fair, I think only a page or two slipped past the editorial team. The typesetting and formatting of the pages are executed nicely but the design of the jacket feels distinctly self-published.

To say that Sarah Swindell has lived a very interesting life would be a humongous understatement. She lays herself bare; apologetic to those around her who were hurt by her decisions, but unflinching when critiquing her own bad decisions or flaws in retrospect. I found her to be a delightful cocktail of stereotypes validated and realized mixed with beating the odds. Let me explain. She perpetuates that tragic cycle of a woman that can’t be without a man when she gets married and divorced over and over again. But her own daughters are able to break the cycle of girls who are the product of teen pregnancy or divorce: they often get pregnant early or divorced themselves. Her own children struggled with many issues due to the instability of moving around and Sarah’s marriage/divorce cycle, but it looks like they learned from her mistakes and applied the lessons to their own lives.

The story of her son’s challenges with autism could be a book on its own, but I can see how integral it has been to her life’s story and the journey of her family as a whole. I must confess that I had to adjust my judgy pants when she points the blame to vaccinations. But to her credit, she came to this conclusion eons before Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccine propaganda. Either way, this memoir is a great read for mothers, especially those who have children with autism. I found this book to be uplifting and inspirational.

 

Sarah Swindell lives in the Austin area with her husband, Greg, a former Major League Baseball player and 2019 Texas Sports Hall of Fame inductee. Sarah is a commercial actress/model and has been working in the industry for over thirty years. She enjoys spending her free time with her four grown children and several grandchildren who reside in Texas as well.

Sarah is an avid moviegoer, loves yoga and true-crime podcasts, and advocates for children and adults with autism and other disabilities. Her son was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of eighteen months and continues to touch peoples’ hearts to this day.

WEBSITE  ⬧  BLOG    
GOODREADS ⬧  TWITTER ⬧  INSTAGRAM
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE—————————————–
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
FOUR WINNERS: SIGNED COPIES OF ROUNDING HOME
+ SIGNED GREG SWINDELL BASEBALL CARD
August 22-September 1, 2019

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

8/22/19
Promo
8/22/19
BONUS Post
8/23/19
Review
8/24/19
Review
8/25/19
Excerpt
8/26/19
Excerpt
8/27/19
Review
8/28/19
Author Interview
8/29/19
Scrapbook
8/30/19
Review
8/31/19
Review
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1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Giveaway, Lone Star Book Blog Tours

One response to “Review & Giveaway: Rounding Home by Sarah Swindell

  1. Great review! Thoughtful criticism & praise! This sounds like a must-read. Thanks for posting!

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