Captain Joe Townsend had logged over 12,000 flight hours in planes ranging from small tandem two-seaters to corporate and charter Lear-jets as a U. S. Airways pilot when his aviation career came to a sudden catastrophic end on December 1, 1996. The Bellanca Citabria he was flying lost power, took a nose dive and crashed to the earth traveling at approximately 70 miles per hour on impact. The mechanical failure that caused the accident took the lives of Joe’s wife and two young daughters.
In a (divinely appointed) chance encounter Joe Townsend and Shawn Doyle meet on a flight to West Palm Beach, Florida. Both men have been upgraded to first class. During the conversation that follows Joe relates how he became the “Soul Survivor” of this tragic accident.
Shawn Doyle is president of New Light Learning Center, specializing in human development and lifelong learning. He is the author of 10 books. Impressed with Joe’s persistence, positive attitude in the face of tragedy, and exemplary determination to rebuild his life in the face of adversity, Shawn records Joe’s story in the book “Soul Survivor.”
The story of Joe’s childhood, teen years, early stages of his career, and the beginnings of his family, his wife Kelly, and his daughters Laura and Kara are related through a series of phone conversations and over lunch when travel connections bring the two men together. I enjoyed the unique, casual, down-home dialog exchanged throughout the narration. Joe exudes a love for life, for resourcefulness and adventure.
Shawn captures the tragedy, pain, and suffering Joe experienced in rebuilding his life after multiple surgeries, extended therapy, and a season of delayed grief, financial challenges, and the Lord’s provision of a new wife and family.
“The Soul Survivor” is the story of one man’s tenacity in light of heartbreak. It is a heartwarming story of faith, offering inspiration and encouragement to the reader.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own. As reviewed for Midwest Book Review.