The Hard Parts: A Memoir of Courage and Triumph

Scribner. Feb. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781982185503. $28. MEMOIR
The story of the United States’ most decorated Winter Paralympian is a powerful one. Masters vividly describes how she moved from orphanage to orphanage in the Ukraine, endured a series of surgeries on her hands and an amputation of her legs, experienced setbacks and severe depression, and became a Paralympic champion. Since her birth mother experienced radiation poisoning effects of Chernobyl, Masters was born with one kidney, a partial stomach, six toes on each foot, webbed fingers, no right bicep, and no thumbs. Her left leg was six inches shorter than her right, and she was missing both tibias. Masters’s life dramatically changed at age seven when she was adopted by Gay Masters, a single professor who brought the young Oksana to the United States. Oksana became interested in sports and eventually won elite rowing, biathlon, cross country skiing, and road cycling competitions. In her career, she’s won 17 Paralympic medals.
VERDICT This book is not only for sports fans but also for the multitude of readers who will likely want to learn more about this remarkable and courageous woman, who achieved her dream despite challenges. Highly recommended.
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