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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Audiobook Review: Working it Out by Abby Rike

This is an awesome book that will have you crying, sighing and ultimately cheering.
Working It Out: A Journey of Love, Loss, and HopeWorking It Out: A Journey of Love, Loss, and Hope Abby Rike
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Unabridged edition (May 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609419898
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609419899
  • 6 CDs Approximate time 7 hrs; includes a pdf of photos and letters.
Genre: Motivational, Memoir
      My Rating: 5.0 of 5.0
Product Description
In 2006, Abby Rike lost the life she knew and loved when her husband and two young children were killed in a car accident. Devastated and numb, she shut down. For nearly three years she walked through life like a spectre, present in body only. As she descended, so did her health.
Fortunately, Abby was not alone. She had loving parents, supportive friends, and a faith that continued to sustain her. Little by little she found the courage to return to life. Joining The Biggest Loser proved a catalyst for the physical and emotional changes she needed to make. In fact, against all odds Abby gained strength, courage, wisdom, and continued her steadfast relationship with God. Instead of anger, she found herself slowly but steadily healing. She lost a hundred pounds but gained hope.
In this riveting book, Abby tells her story--from her joyous life before the accident to the unbearable pain that followed it and her eventual emergence as a woman reinvigorated by her faith in God. Today Abby's resilience and positivity are a testament to the power and importance of faith in the darkest hours.
Review: This is a wonderfully powerful audiobook. Yes, the story tells of a terrible tragedy but it also reveals great resilience in the human spirit when it is grounded in a secure faith that offers hope.

The story starts with the tragedy that destroyed Abby’s world as she knew it.  Her loving husband, Rick, precocious and adorable six year old daughter, Macy, and her new born son, Caleb, are killed in an accident. It is stunning... how does a young woman go on after such shocking loss?

The story flashes back to describe Abby’s life as a single mother before she meets Rick. The story then brings the reader along through the courtship, the wooing of Abby and Macy, their eventual marriage and team-ship. I really liked how the author presented a picture of her real life through recollections supported by the reading of  cards, notes and  journal entries. She reveals a love as it grows through romance, job struggles and adjustment to life as “Team Rike.”

Abby shares the pain and beauty of the heartfelt memorial speeches presented by five students as well as the Pastor’s eulogy at the funeral service.  The Pastor tries to encourage Abby explaining that God loves Rick, Macy and Caleb and God loves Abby and will be there every step of the way to help her through.

Abby describes her feelings going from the top of the world with all her dreams on track to suddenly having all her dreams gone. She exposes her pain and depression as she questioned her purpose in life without the family that made her who she was: a wife and mother.

Abby moves forward with her experiences as part of the Biggest Loser cast in 2009 when she struggles to regain her sense of worth.. In the process she recognized that it is okay to accept help from others. It took the help of her family, friends and some tough coaching to get her on track but she pulled herself through. I appreciated the comments of Abby's father when he reminded her: "God and you equal a majority." As Abby concludes this book she encourages the reader to learn to appreciate the journey of life, even when it is hard.

This story flows with great depth and makes a truly wonderful audiobook. I was struck by how absolutely perfect the narrator was in presentation and then I realized that Abby is the narrator.  It was no wonder you could hear the catching of her breath in pain and sorrow and the joy and triumph when she succeeds in her goals of physical and mental healing.  I recommend this as an inspiring read for anyone - who among us can’t use encouragement and hope as displayed by another person who has survived such tragedy?

Sheila at Bookjourney was reading the print version as I listened to the audiobook so we agreed to link our reviews and share some questions.

I asked Sheila the three Qs below:  To see the three questions Sheila asked me and my answers, check out her review!
Q1:  Were you familiar with The Biggest Loser program before reading this book?
SD:  I am familiar with the Biggest Loser tv show and have watched many of the seasons including the one that Abby was in.
Q2:  Do you think you would have the support group and/or faith to see you through a tragedy like this? 
SD:  Great question.  I have a great support team around me, more now then when I did go through a similar tragedy in 1996.  I have a lot of faith and believe as tragic as this would be I could make it through.
Q3: Do you think that The Biggest Loser paid for the traveling expenses and the the gyms and trainers donated their services as sponsors?
SD: I think so.  I am not sure.

Thank you Sheila for sharing/linking our reviews.

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