From Freight Trains to Airplanes
by Everett L. Gracey
Writers' Digest Criticism Service

"Make your life the best that is possible for today and the future. Enjoy your life to the fullest, as we only have one life to live on this earth."

It might seem clichéd, but this is exactly how author, Everett L. Gracey, has fashioned his life. He has persevered through hardships, adapted to them, and gone forward. He has found pleasure when and where he could, and he has been faithful to family and friends.

The author never wants to retire, although he has already had quite an adventurous and varied life, both personally and professionally. Many would think it difficult, but his tone throughout his memoir is amazingly optimistic. His mother beat him; he only got as far as the 7th grade; his wife has suffered from several nervous breakdowns; they have moved often; and they were long estranged from one of two daughters. Nevertheless, Gracey feels blessed with his life; he is an entrepreneur, most of whose projects have succeeded. He has turned bad to good; ridden out all the storms; believed in rainbows; etc.

Especially engaging are Gracey's sections about his participation in World War II and those about how he and his wife combated her agoraphobia and other ailments, yet remained committed to their marriage.

The language and sentence structure are straightforward and the paragraphs short. The book includes several graphics—some are actual photographs, others are clip art. This book would be especially meaningful for middle and/or high school students as the work ethic and the idea of commitment to jobs and relationships have declined in the last dozen or more years.

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