Tuesday, October 22, 2013

“Stories of real people who lived through real pain”

Jim Gill
Editor’s Note: Jim Gill lives in an area of the country where the passion for football runs deep. Gill, who serves as Director of the Dover Public Library in Ohio, is a football fan who’s very familiar with the story of the Marshall University plane crash. Jim recently shared his thoughts about the book with me (see below).

I am captivated by the Marshall story and was browsing iBooks and downloaded the free sample of November Ever After.  I later purchased the print edition for the Dover Public Library. There are so many aspects of this story that captivate people nationwide – regardless of whether they are football fans or not.
In reading Craig’s book, I learned that there’s so much more to the story than just the crash and the rebirth of the football program.  I had no sense of the racial
issues that seethed through Huntington, West Virginia and the Marshall campus during that time.  The “Homegoing Caravan” was sad and beautiful all at the same time.  Ed Carter’s story is both chilling and inspiring.

The film We Are Marshall is a powerful portrayal of the crash and the rebuilding of the football program.  Sadly, most people who even know of the Marshall story view the story only through the Hollywood lens. November Ever After adds more depth to the story by bringing to light the stories of real people who lived through real pain.

November Ever After has been very popular in Dover. Thanks to the movie, the Marshall story has better name recognition with the average library patron. Craig’s book complements our existing collection very nicely. 
Libraries in communities that have a passion for football should definitely purchase this memoir for their collection — especially those in the Ohio River Valley. Thanks to the movie, the Marshall story has worldwide appeal now.
The first-person accounts in November Ever After resonate with people because they are true.  The stories of the people who lost their lives and those who survived strike an emotional cord. Deep down, we realize that those who perished were sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. 

Those tragic deaths remind us of our own mortality. But the story does not end there.  Like the phoenix rising from the ashes, the Marshall story is the tale of hope and rebirth and renewal. That is the real beauty of the story.