Biography · BOOK REVIEWS

ROW FOR FREEDOM – Julia Immonen (2014)

ROWYou will never find me bungy-jumping, surfing, skydiving, or dangling from the face of the Half Dome in California.  However, I do enjoy reading about the adventures of other people who put their necks on the line for a thrill.  Row For Freedom by Julia Immonen is a classic example of adventure, courage, and sacrifice.  But the “thrill” of the row is secondary.  The author has a greater purpose in mind.  This purpose is in fact, the grand theme of the book.

Immonen recounts the true tale of her journey across the Atlantic with four other brave women.  What would motivate these women to risk their lives by rowing across the Atlantic?  First, they were shooting for a world record.  But what really grabbed my attention was the second goal, namely, to raise money to fight the horrible sin of human trafficking.

The author provides some biographical detail which concerns her life as  a child in Finland and her subsequent move to the UK.  Her dream to row the Atlantic is met with several challenges along the way but she and her sisters succeed.

The story is gripping, fast-moving, and begs readers to finish in one sitting.  The book is raw, emotion-filled, and challenging.

While the story is moving in many ways, I must confess that the most disappointing part was the gospel which is barely recognizable.  While the author is quick to give God credit, the gospel is never articulated in a clear terms.

Row For Freedom is a gripping book.  The real beauty of Row For Freedom, however, is Immonen’s obvious hatred for human trafficking.  It is her antipathy for this vile practice that motivated her to keep rowing, an antipathy that needs to spread to people of influence and conviction; people willing to make a difference one person at a time.  My hope is that the book will receive a wide reading and alert millions of people to the evil of human trafficking – a wicked industry that enslaves 30 million slaves around the world.  To that end, the Row For Freedom will not be in vain.  Slaves will be liberated and the world will be a better place.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLookbloggers®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. 

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