Thursday, May 23, 2024

Coming Home by Brittney Griner with Michelle Burford

Rating: 5 of 5 stars 
Duration: 10:36:00
Published: May 2024

I used my last Audible credit on my birthday, before I canceled my membership, to purchase Brittney Griner's Coming Home where she recounts the horrifying 10 months she was wrongfully detained in Russia for mistakenly bringing 0.7 grams of medically-prescribed hash oil on a flight from her home in Phoenix. She was returning to Russia to finish out the season playing for the Russia women's basketball team after recuperating from a COVID-19 diagnosis. 

This story is so maddening I don't know that I could have made it through the book if I didn't know the ending. The non-fictional story is presented in an engaging way and provides insight and details to Griner's horrifying ordeal that we, as a nation, did not hear about on the news. Griner narrates the prologue and epilogue, and Andia Winslow does a beautiful job narrating the story in between. I was also really was inspired by how much effort her wife, Cherelle, invested in keeping the campaign for her return alive in the midst of dealing with her own trauma and carrying out her daily responsibilities including passing the bar exam. 

From a personal level, what's even more infuriating than what happened to Griner is the lack of empathy from her fellow U.S. citizens, including some I know personally, who had such vitriol to share about her. It is disappointing that people can be so black and white and not give grace or space for others. I try not to dwell on the negativity but rather the community that came together and embodied the #WeAreBG movement. Whether you agree with the politics of her detainment and ultimate release is of little-to-no consequence. She is back on U.S. soil, thank God, and you will never be able to make me believe in the same situation, you wouldn't take whatever opportunity presented to you to get back home to your loved ones. My only hope is that one day the majority of people in the U.S. will have the same amount of compassion and energy for people who look like Griner as they do for people like Amber Guyger and Michael P. Fay.

For Griner to come out on the other side of this as a person who is not only healing from her trauma but also exhibiting a very positive mindset is commendable. What she is doing to help bring light to other wrongfully detained U.S. citizens across the globe is inspiring. I admire her courage and her strength to carry on, including her plans to represent the U.S. in the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France. 

Recommendation: I enjoyed getting to know more about Griner, her family, and how she is moving forward. I have nothing to send her but positive and healing energy for the future. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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