Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Route One Press (8 July 2011)
"Set in San Francisco in the 1970s, Grip: A Memoir of Fierce Attractions is the true story of how a teenager fends off an armed intruder with only her wits, then goes on to become the toughest female martial artist in her karate school and an early advocate for women’s rights. Yet in private this five-foot fighter forms one disastrous relationship with men after another. Ultimately, Nina Hamberg finds her real battle is an internal one. She has to bond with a different kind of man and allow herself to be vulnerable. Winner of the Maui Writers Conference Rupert Hughes Award and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association Book Award for “Best Memoir,” Grip reads like a novel. It is by turns riveting, funny, poignant and wise."
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The book is a memoir, and while I specified that I don't do anything outside of fiction books, I made an exception for Nina's book, simply 'cause she took the time and initiative still to contact me and the story intrigued me - and I'm glad I gave this book a chance.
Dark and at times disturbing, this book definitely has an edge to it, but you can't help but continue on this amazing journey that Nina's flowing writing takes you on. The plot is based on her true encounters and woven deep into the plot are issues that I think people need to read more about, concerning independence, confidence, change and a brutal honesty and story of finding ones true self - you won't be able to catch your breath when reading Nina's story.
She brings to life her experiences, with gritty and realistic writing that leaves you amazed at the powers of sheer human will and dedication. I read in another review that "strength is not the absence of vulnerability and feeling safe takes more than just a self-defence class. Despite her feminist views, Nina finds herself still in the grip of her own sexuality -- whether it is to use it to her advantage or disadvantage. This isn't just a book for women. " I can't help but totally agree with that comment, and it's displayed so clearly in Nina's story, that despite writing about issues that people may label as having a feminist agenda, I guarantee that even men and find something to relate to within this book.
The feelings of powerful emotion aside, the book was definitely one that you couldn't put down. I started reading this a few weeks ago during my Christmas break and hadn't been able to put it down since - and whenever I did, I was always itching to pick it back up. No it's not the kind of story that will keep you laughing from page to page, but instead it's one that, aptly, will keep you gripped within the powerful narrative of the book and the flow of ideas and emotions. After finishing the book, I sat there speechless for a few minutes, just soaking in what I had read and so glad that I was given the chance to read this memoir.
This is a must read for anyone, and be ready to be blown away by the book. Thank you once again Nina for giving me this book :)