Review: Ten Years Later
When Hoda Kotb graduated from college with a degree in broadcast journalism, she mistakenly thought the job offers would come pouring in. That didn’t happen, of course – she was turned down almost thirty times before she landed a job with a TV station in Mississippi. Thinking about that made her realize that there are people who have faced far greater adversity and triumphed. Kotb highlights six people who did just that in Ten Years Later, a book she wrote with Jane Lorenzini. This book tells the stories of six people at their lowest lows and shares how they overcame the challenges facing them. Those featured are:
- Amy Barnes, a young mother of two who was obese and trapped in an abusive marriage.
- Lindsey Beck was a college student undergoing treatment for cancer who was devastated when she learned chemotherapy could leave her sterile.
- Patrick Weiland was an award winning producer who start using methamphetamine after being diagnosed with HIV.
- Diane Van Deren’s epilepsy started interfering with her daily life so she chose to have elective brain surgery.
- Ron Clifford was close to the World Trade Center on 9/11 and helped a badly injured woman only to suffer huge losses of his own.
- Roxanne Quimby was a down and out mother of two when a chance meeting with a stranger turned things around for her.
Each of the stories in this book stands alone, so it reads like an inspirational short story collection. For the most part, I really enjoyed reading about this diverse group of people. I think part of what made these stories so fascinating is they are about ordinary people, not so different from people I know. I was inspired by the vision and hard work each of these people put into improving their lives and found each of their stories compelling as I read them. Even though I knew the stories would turn out okay, I rooted for everyone and even teared up a time or two. I read this book quickly because I found myself anxious to find out how each story ended.
Hoda Kotb narrates the audio version of Ten Years Later and does an outstanding job. She reads with heart and emotion and kept me involved in each person’s story. She met each of the people featured in the book and it was obvious she admired them. The audio book is on 7 CDs and lasts approximately seven and a half hours.