Vera Koo—professional sport shooter and eight-time winner of the women’s National Rifle Association (NRA) Bianchi Cup—relates how her unwavering focus, determination and faith in Jesus enabled her to conquer the biggest challenges of her life.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Koo immigrated to the U.S. with her family when she was 12. In middle age, a deep fear of guns led the author to enroll in a gun safety course. The decision would alter the course of her life as competitive pistol shooting became the therapy she needed to survive the emotional pain of her husband’s extra-marital affairs and other tragedies.
Two cultures victoriously collide in this intensely self-controlled woman as Koo melds her traditional Chinese upbringing, which views wives as subservient to their husbands, with “a quintessentially American story,” where hard work pays off in the achievement of national and world recognition as the top female contender in her sport. She offers a unique glimpse into American freedom to court perfection in the male-dominated world of pistol shooting and the Chinese culture of discipline and goal-driven tenacity.
With repetitive themes of outer calm masking inner turmoil, Koo’s writing is captivating. Readers will enjoy their privileged peek behind Koo’s stoic, unflinching veneer where her vulnerable pain from the death of her infant son, emotional abuse from her father-in-law, her brother’s unexpected murder and her husband’s infidelity simmer. Throughout, she revisits 70 years of experiences and divulges her secrets to emotional healing: In life, don’t “question [God’s] plans”; in competition, “the person you’re competing against is yourself,” and in relationships, forgiveness “is the only way forward.”
With Koo’s commitment to perfecting the task at hand, it’s no surprise her memoir is beautifully written, easy to read, endearing and uplifting. From teens to adults, readers will take away something worthwhile from this gem-of-a-soul that is Vera Koo.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.
Original review can be found here.