Home > Culture > Soulsurfer


By Bethany Hamilton
Simon & Schuster (Australia) Pty Limited
RRP $18.95

The back cover contains as good a synopsis as it gets – “the amazing story of the thirteen year old surfer girl who lost her arm in a shark attack but never lost her faith – and of her triumphant return to competitive surfing”. And so it is – a story that illustrates the juxtaposition of faith and the human will and that ephemeral quality of courage – how they intertwine and form a complete whole.

We know the balance underneath in us somewhere; for some in quite ordinary circumstance, for many as it is tested much further. In this story, Bethany Hamilton takes us on a journey of living through tribulation.

When there is so much human strife in the news it would be easy to treat this as just another hard-luck story. But like many who rely on God in tough times, Bethany lets us know how faith experience informs chosen attitudes and decisions and, through that, gives quite a sense of how God intends our relationship to be (this partnership thing).

You probably wouldn’t read it if you just wanted to fill some time – but it is a great read if you want to listen to someone tell it like it is … to be challenged by an author of fourteen years of age.

The book is short, succinct and almost staccato. It doesn’t muck around with the English language – it just tells the tale. The book relates well to younger folks (like me … right).