Book Review: A Will to Win- a remarkable story of courage and determination


By: Alice Peterson
I have chosen to write about this book because as a  young woman with
Rheumatoid Arthritis it was a lifeline to know that other younger  people
had the disease too. The beauty of the book for me is that it is about the
person with the R.A, rather than a book about possible effects of the disease.

Alice was brought up in Southern England and developed a passion for tennis.
She was so good at it that she won local, then regional events. She went to
college, had a boyfriend and lots of friends. After a lot of hard work, grit and
determination, Alice was given a chance to go to America to have specialist
coaching. She had the makings of a champion.

Then one morning Alice’s thumb hurt. It wasn’t of much concern at the 
time, as she goes to meet her doubles partner and struggles to hold her racket.
After a few weeks of hand and muscle pain, the disease takes hold and she is
diagnosed with the crippling  rheumatoid arthritis- and by the way there is
no cure.

The book goes on to describe Alice’s struggle with the disease and her will
to have as normal a life as possible, including going to  university. I
found the parts when she talked about being in NHS  hospitals, the risks
and effects of powerful drugs and the love and  support from her friends
and most of all her parents, gave me the "glow factor." It empowered
me to really admit how bad things can be and at times have been for me, but yet
inspired a good strong attitude to help get through it and out the other side. A
note of caution- it may not be the best choice of a book to read if you are
recently diagnosed, as it represents the  struggle of someone with a severe
disease. It might be depressing for you at the beginning stage, but for 
someone like me who struggles with a severe disease, it was very helpful to know
that other young women have it badly too.

Title: A Will to Win 
Author: Alice Peterson
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Reviewed Written By: Jenni Bevis