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In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving Hardcover – Bargain Price, July 13, 2010
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First let me say that this book has a section of photos of the family in the center of the book.
The Tuohys' have the heart and the money to help a lot of people, it is great that they picked up a black young man in the rain and the cold as they were on their way to get breakfast. This young man Michael grew up to be a NFL basketball star. That is great that he was successful and that the people that picked him up that morning when he had no home and no warm clothes to wear were willing to take him in.
This book "In A Heartbeat" is about this couple that could afford to do all these things and seem to be that in the book they like to also brag about being able too, with all the money they have. Leigh Anne didn't have to cook and she didn't even want a kitchen in her home but they did have a small one. We are all not like this couple and they mean well and are able to give a lot to people. But most people in 2010 are thanking God if they have a job and can support their own family. So in one way the book is good to let people see they we all need to do all we can to help other people but in another way in this economy most of us are unable to do so.
This book was sent to me by Audra Jennings at The B&B Media Group for review.
A stated in the book, the Tuohy family did not seek out the fame and publicity that came with their adoption of Michael; and had they not been close friends with author Michael Lewis, their kindness and generosity may have gone unnoticed by the masses. But the advantage that friendship gave them was that it showed the world how one's actions define the future and that how a simple act of kindness and generosity can open up so many other opportunities. This was a great book, and should be read by anyone wondering how they can make a even a small difference in the lives of others.
In a Heartbeat reveals more personal details from the lives of Sean and Leigh Anne: their family histories, childhoods, how they met and married, and how loving Michael completely changed their lives. Also featured are Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, and the three Tuohy children, who offer their personal reflections on the events behind the story. The Tuohys reveal some of the struggles associated with adoption, transracial adoption specifically. Another interesting inclusion is the Tuohys' development of their philosophy of giving and how they decided to make generosity a way of life. The Tuohys call it the "Popcorn Theory," and it's rather simple: "You can't help everyone. But you can try to help the hot ones who pop right up in front of your face."
The Tuohys describe themselves as born-again Christians and find their reasons for giving in the Bible; however, they intentionally separate their philanthropy from the gospel. "Neither of us talked very openly about our faith, because we didn't want to offend or alienate or preach at people." In a Heartbeat is filled with personal stories about what happens when you give money and time to the worthy causes that pop up: children are educated, teenagers graduate from high school and move out of "the projects," athletic programs are born, or someone gets to take the overseas trip of a lifetime. All are good outcomes. But this isn't a book about giving sacrificially or living missionally for the sake of spreading the gospel.
Their message is simple: give because God has blessed you, and you will be blessed. Leigh Anne writes, "If there is one meaning we'd like you to take from our story, it's this: the person you just walked past is the one who could change your life. So, every once in a while, stop and turn around. Find out about that person." The Tuohy's challenge is to step out of your comfort zone and do something good for someone else.
That said, I cannot highly recommend this book as it left a rather awful Tuohy after-taste. The movie paints Leigh Anne in a much more favorable light than her own writing. If you enjoyed the movie (and I did), then you may not want to read this memoir.