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Publisher's Summary

Born 10 weeks premature and requiring oxygen to survive, Gail Hamilton spent the first six weeks of her life within an incubator. Six months later doctors discovered that Gail had retrolental fibroplasia (RLF), an eye condition caused by the infusion of 100 percent pure oxygen. By age 11 she was completely blind.

Soaring into Greatness follows Gail's story as her outer visual world merged with her inner vision, forcing her to listen with her inner voice, to follow her heart and tune in to her intuition. Subjected to physical and emotional abuse, ostracized, and oftentimes feeling alone, Gail set out on a journey of the courage and perseverance it takes to find one's way through the darkness and soar.

"I believe my desire to fly must be bigger than my fear of falling. Vision is internal, not external, and is guided by my heart, not my eyes. In order to be free, to fly, I must want my dream, feel my dream, and believe that my dream will come true. Most importantly, I must live my dream. I am the creator of my destiny, the composer of my symphony, and I choose to live a life of greatness." (Gail L. Hamilton)

©2014 Gail L. Hamilton (P)2016 Gail L. Hamilton

Critic Reviews

"A beautiful story of someone who has overcome a physical handicap and changed it into a force that is an inspiration." (President Jimmy Carter)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jan
  • United States
  • 07-19-16

True grit


An amazing woman. From a rocky start as a newborn, to near blindness and an unsupportive family as a young child, to total blindness and being musically gifted as a young woman, she then becomes involved with a communal group which does help her to grow and learn to believe in herself.
Following this change in her outlook, she keeps testing herself and others until even the sky does not prove to be a limit.
Cindy Piller gave a wonderful performance in narrating this book.
I received this book free on my request in exchange for an honest review courtesy of AudiobookB00M.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not what I was expecting

What did you like best about Soaring into Greatness? What did you like least?

What I liked most was her courage to say exactly what happened. What I liked least was that there seemed to be no closure to any of it.

What was most disappointing about Gail L. Hamilton’s story?

That she was a victim throughout, and a sore loser after the pageant. The victim card got so old. So much was told about her traumatic experiences but we'll never know if anyone was confronted. It seems the elephant was brushed under the carpet and her family was excused once they saw her on the queen circuit.
On the queen circuit, when she didn't win, she exclaimed that more people were coming up to her to say congrats (etc) than the actual queen.....Not a gracious loser but a Sore loser. That was awful to hear. it cancelled out a lot for me.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Cindy Piller?

Yes. I love her gentle voice.

Was Soaring into Greatness worth the listening time?

In the beginning, yes. After her life of growing up, no.

Any additional comments?

Left me hanging but not wanting for more. I kept listening in the hopes that some justice would be had, or maybe she'd use the degree she worked so hard for, or even learn to stand up to her family and demand to be heard like she deserves. But alas, it wasn't to be. I think this book was written before any resolution happened.

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A Soaring Unforgettable Success

Where does Soaring into Greatness rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It was awe-inspiring and motivating. So I'd say in the top 15 for sure.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Soaring into Greatness?

Just the belief that one can soar as far as the heavens as long as they believe and work towards that goal.

What about Cindy Piller’s performance did you like?

I loved it. It did the amazing story justice!

Any additional comments?

"I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom."

  • Overall
    out of 5 stars
  • Al
  • 07-25-16

Not Worth Your Time

Really good not finish. Not worth the time it takes to download. "I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Blast."

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Beautiful Memoir

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, It has insights into the way things use to be years ago with children and parenting. How it leaves it marks for a lifetime and how it is for a blind person.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Gail was my favorite character. She has so much courage and kept on swinging with those clay hands that she talks about at the end of the book.

What about Cindy Piller’s performance did you like?

I liked her way of changing voices and how she felt the authors love for her dogs..

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Being in the dark.

Any additional comments?

This audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Inspirational life story

Would you listen to Soaring into Greatness again? Why?

Yes, I'm only three quarters through this Audible edition. But I'm in awe of Gail's achievements and perseverance. I have to return to find out more from her story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Soaring into Greatness?

I'm not sure if Gail can actually recall her thoughts and feelings from such an early age or if it's creative license inspired by what family recall for her about the period, but the telling of her physical and emotional feelings as a newborn and soon after. Regardless it's very touching in the telling.

Which character – as performed by Cindy Piller – was your favorite?

Gail, I'm certain. This is a first person autobiography after all.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I feel this is best listened to in several sittings. The material is very emotional in a positive manner. To be honest, it is a bit overwhelming in that sense. This is not a criticism, just an obsevation of my reaction.

Any additional comments?

An inspiring, heartwarming story about a very special person.

Thank you for making this available to listen to and review!

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.