Taking the Fall: Life After A Boy Scout Zip-line Ride Went Horribly Wrong

Summer Miller
Outskirts Press (2012)
ISBN: 9781432772475
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (12/13)


“Taking the Fall – Life After A Boy Scout Zip-line Ride Went Horribly Wrong” by Summer Miller is based on the aftermath of an accident: a 20 foot fall during a Boy Scout “Zip-line” ride. May 9, 2009 changed forever the lives of the Miller family: James, Summer, Tyler, and Sarah.

Within the first five pages; I was hooked. From the first responders at the site of the fall to a court settlement eighteen months later, Summer Miller chronicles the story of a near death injury, surgeries, therapy, and the resulting emotional trauma, stress, financial toll, social rejection, personality changes among family members, and marital distancing.

Summer describes her feelings of blame, anger, sadness, hurt, guilt, and heartache. She describes the hopelessness of being “out of control.”  She began to question everything as the family face: questionable medical care, ineffectual analysts and therapists, the demands of the process of the courts and the negotiation of attorneys.  Amazing photo shots of the accident affirm the magnitude of the critical nature of the accident.

It is difficult to determine Miller’s intended audience. Her writing is sometimes fragmented, witty, cynical, passionate, and opinionated. In future editions she may want to rethink how her offbeat humor and exaggerated caricatures may be offensive to her potential readers.

My ambivalent feelings changed to empathy and a better understanding of Summer Miller when reading her book “Taking the Fall – Life After A Boy Scout Zip-line Ride Went Horribly Wrong,” and the plight of her family’s journey as I read the epilogue. The Millers are a courageous family; they have a dramatic story with a new beginning and prospect for the future. Onward!

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