Mary Lou Retton's Gateways to Happiness: 7 Ways to a More Peaceful, More Prosperous, More Satisfying Life

Mary Lou Retton, Author, David Bender, With Broadway Books $22.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7679-0439-1
Gymnast Retton, a 1984 Olympic gold medalist, is now a marketing spokesperson and motivational speaker, wife and mother of two young daughters. Aiming to convey her energetic charm on the page, she shares her philosophy together with glimpses of her life and career, focusing especially on her great moment. Unfortunately, her artlessly written book fails to deliver much substance or excitement, leaving the promise of the subtitle unfulfilled. Despite her relentlessly upbeat attitude and deep religious faith, Retton tends to come off as preachy, smug (she always gives 110%) and lacking in depth--as when she blithely advises readers to find positivity in every life experience, including the death of a loved one. An impressively disciplined individual, who at 14 left her West Virginia family to train with world-famous coach Bela Karolyi in Houston, Retton earnestly believes in and urges on the kind of hard work, perseverance and determination that brought her fame. She also stresses the importance of friendship, teamwork, attitude, healthy habits and laughter. To fill out the health chapter, she offers a nutritional plan (including a plug for Lipton tea, for which she is a spokesperson). Though she doesn't urge her religious beliefs on her readers, the book will likely appeal to fans of Billy Graham and to the Christian market. Those looking for more secular or substantial self-help will find that this book misses the mark. Agent, Al Lowman. 12-city author tour. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-0-7679-9899-4
Hardcover - 239 pages - 978-1-57856-347-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 3 pages - 978-0-553-52745-2
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