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The Story of My Life Paperback – November 23, 2017
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This book is both captivating and amazing - Helen Keller would have been an outstanding woman on her own merits but considering the monumental obstacles she faced, you will walk away with absolute amazing respect for her and for her dear teacher, Ann Sullivan.
are so interesting I don't want to put the book down. You won't be disappointed with this series. It is very uplifting and gives the reader
all the excitement, drama, etc. you could ask for without having to use any filthy language or graphics. I am very pleased!
This is an extraordinary book about an extraordinary woman. The book is divided into two parts: Keller's autobiography and her letters. Her autobiography is written a bit flowery, but is interesting as she describes her early years and how she tried to communicate with people and her increasing frustration when they couldn't understand her. She writes about how Anne Sullivan finally got her to understand the word for "water" and how she quickly learned other words after that breakthrough. She tackles what was a very painful time in her young life when she was accused of plagiarizing a story when she was only 11 years old. She ends her autobiography by describing the things she loves in life: reading (books that she loves and her favorite authors), history, languages, the outdoors, sailing and visiting friends.
As interesting as Keller's autobiography is, her letters reveal even more about her life. Printed in chronological order, starting when Helen was just 7 years old, the letters show how quickly her grammar and writing skills developed. In the autobiographical section of the book, it is easy to forget that Keller was deaf and blind as she writes about talking to people and things that she's seen. Her letters explain better how people communicated with her and even the toll it took on Anne Sullivan, who had continuous problems with her eyes. Her letters explain how she wrote letters using a special board and a regular pencil and how she was able to read people's lips and feel things in a museum to get an appreciation of art. Very interesting reading.
My only complaint about this wonderful book is the editing. The book was first published in 1903 and has been in print ever since, but I wonder when it was last edited. There are notations that a footnote will follow but there is no footnote. There are mentions of people who were well known in Helen's time, but today's readers might not know how they were and footnotes should have been used to explain who they were, starting with Laura Bridgman who apparently was the inspiration for much of the education the young Helen got. Also, Helen raised money for the education of a blind and deaf boy, but there was no mention of what happened to him later in life.
Editing aside, this is a wonderful, inspirational book and I highly recommend it.