Purple Robin
by Calvin Dirickson
Trafford Publishing

"I began to wonder, again, who I was and what I was. What force within me was causing these visions? Was it God, the devil or something or someone else?"

The word "average" when applied to a life can be misleading. Everyone has their own, individual story fueled by their personal idiosyncrasies that never match up completely with those of others around them. Such is the case with the author, who rightly describes his life as "unique." While certain similarities between his life and in the lives of others from his generation and geographical background obviously exist, the individual flavor of his experiences make his autobiography engaging.

Dirickson began life in a sharecropper's shack in Missouri, but even his birth was unusual. The doctor thought he was stillborn, and in a rush to save the author's hemorrhaging mother, he quickly cut the umbilical cord and flung her baby across the room. The rough landing on another bed forced the fluid from Dirickson's lungs and resulted in him taking his first breath. Ever since this odd beginning the author has lived a life that while filled with fairly ordinary events such as going to school, joining the military, getting married, and having kids, has also come with some rather extraordinary elements such as having prophetic visions and winning the lottery four times. These unique experiences have led Dirickson to compare himself to the rare purple robin, a bird which may seem the same as others in many ways but on closer examination is quite different.

Although the book could benefit from some editing due to the occasional incorrect use of grammar and frequent spelling errors, the author's narrative of his life flows well, making his memoir very readable. The book has several poignant moments, such as the period in the author's life when his first wife died from leukemia. Dirickson goes on to emotionally describe his grief over the loss of Penny, his two short, failed marriages afterwards, and also his resolve to do his best to raise his two small children.

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