Neville's Reviews > Solo: A Memoir of Hope

Solo by Hope Solo
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's review
Aug 16, 2012

it was amazing
Read from August 14 to 16, 2012

Soon after her father suddenly passed away, an emotionally fragile Hope Solo started writing letters to him. In one, she wrote, "Tomorrow I'll tell your story, Dad. I will tell it loud and proud and people all around the world will know my dad."

In many ways, this book, 'A Memoir of Hope,' is a tribute to her late father, whom she knew as Gerry Solo, a man with a mysterious past, who floated in and out of her life. At times when he was homeless, Hope would visit him in the woods. Late in his life he was falsely accused of murder, yet his doting daughter, whom he lovingly called his 'Baby Hope,' never fell out of love with him. Through all the struggles, through all the games, Hope's father was her biggest supporter 'who taught me to never give up.'

You'll learn in this memoir that the world's greatest goalkeeper did not have a fairy tale upbringing, or charmed life. That the path to the women's soccer World Cup and an Olympic Medal is not paved with gold, or even nice people.

At a young age, she discovered playing soccer was the perfect outlet, a sanctuary from family troubles, and she excelled at it. Hope writes about her journey, from Richland, Washington, where she was born, through the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany, where the U.S. team lost 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out. Yet Hope won the 'Golden Glove' for best goalkeeper and 'Bronze Ball' award for overall performer.

Like most professional sports, there's the backstabbing and politics, and Hope spares no one in her frank account of maltreatment behind the scenes. There once was rivalry between veterans in the women's soccer team and the fresh talent, like Hope. But she endured to outlive a dysfunctional coach and became part of an outstanding team under the capable leadership of Pia Sundhage, whose been the U.S. women's national soccer team head coach since 2008.

This memoir is remarkable for it's honesty. Hope reveals many private moments and family secrets. It's not just about becoming a sports star, but about overcoming adversity and challenges. About the unconditional love of family, of friends, endurance and Hope.

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