Monday, August 3, 2009

Bull Rider

I first heard about Bull Rider by Suzanne Morgan Williams from Amanda at A Patchwork of Books and was instantly intrigued. Cam O'Mara is from a family of bull riders. Up until his brother Ben returns from Iraq severely injured, Cam has been a skateboarder. However, he decides to give his brother hope to go on with his life by becoming a successful bull rider himself and winning the $15,000 prize money being offered for staying on a famous bull for eight seconds. This book was so hard for me to put down. I loved every page of it, but it is the first one I read on our trip this weekend and since I have read a few others since then, it seems so long ago. I especially appreciated the story about Cam's brother, Ben. I haven't read anything else about siblings of Iraq war veterans, and this is certainly a population that is growing and one that needs to have books out there that helps share the experience these families are going through. Morgan offered some real life issues that accompany having a sibling severely injured in the war. Ben struggles with depression and anger as well as TBI, traumatic brain injury. The rest of the family comes together even more to deal with this tragedy. Cam's mother quits her job to spend time with Ben while he is in the hospital and the financial strain of Ben's needs and diminished income are felt by the family as well. Morgan also keeps the story moving with the suspense she creates around Cam's bull riding. Things would be tied up a bit too neatly if Cam were to easily win the $15,000, and Morgan's twist to this part of the plot added to my enjoyment of this book.

Visit Suzanne Morgan Williams' website.

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