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Drawn to the Rhythm


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Sara Haall is the 1998 World Masters Champion in the women's single shell.

About the Author

Sara Hall is the 1998 World Masters Champion in the women's single shell. She lives near Boston, Massachusetts, and continues to row competitively.


"There is no greater terror or joy than to take the whole sum of who you are and express it in four minutes," writes Hall of racing a single-shell boat. In spring of 1995 Hall, a Long Island housewife with three children, experienced an epiphany when she observed a single shell moving on the water through the window of her car. This elegant and moving memoir recounts how she simultaneously fell in love with rowing and began moving away from a suffocating marriage wherein she was relentlessly belittled. Initially rowing before dawn in order to meet her husband's demands that she be available when he and their children awoke, Hall's love and talent for the sport caused her submissive attitude to wane. Offering lyrical descriptions of rowing, Hall details how she competed in and won master events (she is the 1998 World Masters Champion in the women's single shell). As she gained the approbation of fellow rowers, and her children (although not her husband) expressed pride in her ability, she discovered parts of herself previously hidden beneath the facade of dutiful wife. A move to Boston, because of her husband's job, led her to part-time work with a racing shell company and close contact with a rowing community. When Hall told her husband she was divorcing him, he launched a legal and emotional campaign of intimidation to dissuade her; she eventually moved out. Hall now shares child custody with her former husband and continues to find joy and freedom in competitive rowing. B&w photos. National radio/TV interviews. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"For women struggling to define themselves." -- Kirkus Reviews "[An] elegant and moving memoir." -- Publishers Weekly "A deep book filled with insight and encouragement." -- Booklist

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