Hamilton-Bethany, Memoir, Non-Fiction

#724 Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton

Soul Surfer by Bethany HamiltonSoul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton

When Bethany was thirteen years old something awful happened to her; a shark bit off her arm, along with part of her surfboard, one day when she was surfing.

Bethany was not a surfing novice when this happened. She knew everything to look out for, but a shark just snuck up on her one day. Bethany is a professional surfer and has been from a very young age. She has been competing in competitions for quite some time. Her small community was shocked that she had been bitten by a shark. Many thought that she might never surf again, even Bethany for a time, but after she healed, Bethany got back on her surf board and started surfing again.

Her recovery wasn’t the easiest and nor was telling her story, but Bethany was able to overcome her ordeals with her strong local community and her faith in God to ultimately inspire many. A movie has been made about her life and Bethany continues to do mission work for her church.

What I liked

I knew of Bethany before I read this book. I remember hearing her story, years ago, on the news. She’s tough. She’s definitely an inspiration. She got her arm bit off by a shark, but she got back on her surfboard. If that’s not determination, then nothing is.

What I didn’t like

Remember how I have this thing that if you have faith you’re supposed to exercise it instead of talking about how much you love Jesus? Well, I still have that thing. I’m a little conflicted with Bethany though because she does actually show her faith by helping people out. She does mission work, with one arm.

I am sure Bethany is a great and wonderful person, but she’s just on and on and on about her faith. I get that Bethany probably wouldn’t be where she is today without her faith, but it just seems like it’s on repeat and loudspeaker in the book. She uses the word “Christian” as if it’s some exclusive thing rather than something a large majority of the people in the United States also are.


Bethany is an inspirational person, but I don’t think I’ll be praising Jesus with her anytime soon.

Weigh In

If a shark bit off your arm, what would you do?

Do you think you could have made it through this ordeal as well as Bethany has?


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