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Rounding Home

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ROUNDING HOME
by
SARAH SWINDELL
Genre: Memoir / Family / Autism
Date of Publication: August 2, 2019
Number of Pages: 256

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Rounding Home book cover

In 1991, twenty-one-year-old Sarah, the recently divorced mother to two-year-old Hayley, moved from the dusty small town of Farmington, New Mexico to the bustling city of Houston, Texas with dreams of a better life. A year later, she was swept off her feet by Greg Swindell, an established Major League Baseball player who had just signed a lucrative contract with the Houston Astros and was quickly becoming the talk of the city.

Six weeks after their first date, Greg asked Sarah to quit her job as a hairdresser and marry him during Spring Training in Florida. Over the next several years, Sarah’s Cinderella story continued with the addition of three more children, a lifestyle only a few ever dream of living, and a love story even fewer ever experience.

That is until 2002 when her picture-perfect life came to a gut-wrenching halt, and Sarah was faced with more pain than she ever thought possible. For almost a decade, the puzzle pieces would cease to align due to an avalanche of events; a devastating autism diagnosis, a painful affair, multiple marriages, multiple divorces and her children’s own personal struggles with self-harm, eating disorders, and attempted suicide.

If you have ever felt lost, betrayed, or heartbroken, this story will inspire you to never give up on finding true joy and happiness again. It will prove there is no such thing as the “perfect family” and that difficult times can actually make you stronger than you ever dreamed possible.

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PRAISE FOR ROUNDING HOME:
Rounding Home takes you on a riveting journey through the eyes of an exceptional woman who embraced struggle, love, success, and the unimaginable, autism. Get ready to laugh, cry, and flutter with romance; it’s one hell of a love story!”
— Gena Lee Nolin, actress, author, advocate, “Thyroid Sexy,” wife & mother
“In Rounding Home, Sarah writes with gritty honesty, a deeply moving account of life with her autistic son. This testament to the resilience of the human spirit will touch your heart and soul.”
— Gayle Nobel, life coach, autism mom, and author of three books about living with autism
“his story of the Swindell family is a poignant demonstration of how each family member responded and was changed, for better or worse, as they struggled to come to terms with how their lives had been altered. And although there was damage along the way, they ultimately triumph by rekindling the love that created their family unit in the first place.”
— Dr. Bryan Jepson, author, physician, and father of two sons with autism
photo of woman's hand holding a hard cover edition of Rounding Home in front of a large cactus
Photo used with permission of the author.
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Clueless Gent’s Rating

4 1/2 star rating

More than anything else, I think Rounding Home is a story about the power of love. I did not say this is a “love story” – that would bring with it a whole bunch of preconceptions. Nor did I say the power of love is always a good thing.

This story brings home the determination that can result from a mother’s love for her children. This story also shows that a destined love never fully goes away. It shows that a destined love can be rekindled by the silliest of things – like maybe a leaf blower, for example.

I take my hat off to Sarah Swindell for sharing this story – her story – with the world. I know she had to dig pretty deep and get pretty personal for the story to have the impact that it does.

The Storytelling of Rounding Home

This book is a memoir, which means it’s pretty much a true story – it really happened. I’m sure some of the names were changed to protect the innocent (or the guilty), but the characters represent actual people.

I don’t know if the author just happens to have cool family and friends or if it’s just the way she wrote about them, but they all seem interesting and unique. They all have quirks, just like the characters we find in fiction.

What really drew me into this story was the way she told it. I felt like I was just sitting somewhere with the author – like a coffee shop – and she was just telling me her life’s story. It was very personal to me.

The author included an epilogue, and I’m very glad she did. The story ends shortly after the climax, but the epilogue contains the highlights of what happened to the characters after the story ended. To me, it brought about a better sense of closure.

Another thing I’d like to mention is that the author included several paragraphs that were written by each of her daughters. This gave a great POV change, and it also provided insight to how these young women felt about some of the events in the story. I much enjoyed that.

Autism

A large portion of the story is about the author’s autistic son. Actually, I believe this was the driving force behind writing the story and putting it out there for the world to read.

I’ve seen some fictional autistic characters, and I’m sure I’ve seen some real autistic people during my life, such as in the grocery store, walking in the park, etc. However, this story was a real eye-opener to me.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s really like to live with an autistic person, you should read this story. The author makes it very interesting, and she goes into pretty good detail. This is not to say that all autistic people are like her son, but there probably are some that are similar.

Reading about this person’s struggle with autism also gave me more blessings to be thankful for in my own life.

Technically Speaking

I read an advance copy of this book, so I will not comment on any SPAG issues, as they would likely be corrected prior to publication.

The story has a good pace to it. It’s not fast, but it never goes away. I liked that. There is definitely a climax to the story (if you want to know what it is, you’ll have to read it yourself), and as I said before, I much appreciated the epilogue.

This book is the result of a lot of hard work by someone who wanted her story to be heard. If you read the book, you’ll come away knowing that her reason for publishing was to reach out to people in similar circumstances, as well as people who suffer with depression, and show them that empathy, hope and joy can still exist in their lives.

I wish Sarah Swindell and her lovely family many blessings.

Thank you, Sarah, for letting us read your story!

I received a free copy of this book from Lone Star Book Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review.
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Sarah Swindell Author Photo

Sarah Swindell lives in the Austin area with her husband, Greg, a former Major League Baseball player and 2019 Texas Sports Hall of Fame inductee. Sarah is a commercial actress/model and has been working in the industry for over thirty years. She enjoys spending her free time with her four grown children and several grandchildren who reside in Texas as well.

Sarah is an avid moviegoer, loves yoga and true-crime podcasts, and advocates for children and adults with autism and other disabilities. Her son was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of eighteen months and continues to touch peoples’ hearts to this day.

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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
FOUR WINNERS: SIGNED COPIES OF ROUNDING HOME
+ SIGNED GREG SWINDELL BASEBALL CARD
August 22-September 1, 2019
(US ONLY)
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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
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8/22/19
BONUS Post
8/23/19
Review
8/24/19
Review
8/25/19
Excerpt
8/26/19
Excerpt
8/27/19
Review
8/28/19
Author Interview
8/29/19
Scrapbook
8/30/19
Review
8/31/19
Review
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One thought on “Rounding Home

  1. GORGEOUS post — they are always so visually appealing — and excellent, thoughtful review. Always good to read a book that reminds us of our blessings and helps us find hope even in the hard times.

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