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Gabby

Gabby

A Story of Courage and Hope

  • reading group guide
  • bestseller
AS INDIVIDUALS, CONGRESSWOMAN GABRIELLE GIFFORDS and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, showed Americans how optimism, an adventurous spirit, and a call to service can help change the world. As a couple, they became a national example of the healing power to be found in deeply shared love and courage. Their arrival in the world spotlight came under the worst of circumstances. On January 8, 2011, while meeting with her constituents in Tucson, Arizona, Gabby was the victim of an assassination attempt that left six people dead and thirteen wounded. Gabby was shot in the head; doctors called her survival “miraculous.”

As the nation grieved and sought to understand the attack, Gabby remained in private, focused on her against-all-odds recovery. Mark spent every possible moment by her side, as he also prepared for his final mission as commander of space shuttle Endeavour.

Now, as Gabby’s health continues to improve, the couple is sharing their remarkable untold story. Intimate, inspiring, and unforgettably moving, Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope provides an unflinching look at the overwhelming challenges of brain injury, the painstaking process of learning to communicate again, and the responsibilities that fall to a loving spouse who wants the best possible treatment for his wife. Told in Mark’s voice and from Gabby’s heart, the book also chronicles the lives that brought these two extraordinary people together—their humor, their ambitions, their sense of duty, their long-distance marriage, and their desire for family.

Gabby and Mark made a pledge to tell their account as honestly as possible, and they have done so in riveting detail. Both Gabby and Mark have lived large public lives, but this book takes readers behind many closed doors—from the flight deck of the space shuttle to the cloakrooms of Congress to the hospital wards where Gabby struggled to reclaim herself with the help of formidable medical teams and devoted family and friends.

Questions are answered with unvarnished candor. How do Gabby and Mark feel about the angry political discourse that was swirling in America at the time of the shooting, and that remains prevalent today? How do they see government living up to the highest possible ideals? And how do they understand and mourn the loss of the people who did not survive that day? Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope is a reminder of the power of true grit, the patience needed to overcome unimaginable obstacles, and the transcendence of love. In the story of Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly, we all can see the best in ourselves. As Mark and Gabby’s friends have said: “The two of them are America as we dream it can be.”
  • Scribner | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451661064 | 
  • November 2011
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Read an Excerpt

The Beach

I used to be able to tell just what my wife, Gabby, was thinking.

I could sense it in her body language—the way she leaned forward when she was intrigued by someone and wanted to soak up every word being said; the way she nodded politely when listening to some know-it-all who had the floor; the way she’d look at me, eyes sparkling, with that full-on smile of hers, when she wanted me to know she loved me. She was a woman who lived in the moment—every moment.

Gabby was a talker, too. She was so animated, using her hands as punctuation marks, and she’d speak with passion, clarity, and good... see more

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Gabby: A Story of Courage, Love, and Resilience includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and astronaut Mark Kelly found in each other a steadfast commitment to public service, a deep curiosity about the world around them, and a shared passion for adventure. At their wedding in 2007, Robert Reich toasted “to a bride who moves at a velocity that exceeds that of anyone else in Washington, and to a groom who moves at a velocity that exceeds seventeen thousand miles per hour.” On January 8, 2011, Gabby survived a horrific shooting that left six people dead and thirteen wounded at a Congress on Your Corner event in Tucson, Arizona. Her life and Mark’s were changed forever.

Gabby: A Story of Courage, Love, and Resilience takes readers into the lives of this extraordinary couple—the influences that molded their passions in childhood, their professional triumphs, their family and friendships, and their marriage. Anchoring the book is the profoundly inspiring story of Gabby’s recovery, a testament to enduring love, courage, and hope.

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