Destiny Control by David Garrahan – Book Review

Destiny Control by David Garrahan
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Alt="destiny control"Destiny Control by David Garrahan

Destiny Control is a memoir. It recounts the history of his life from age 2 to 82. Born into a dysfunctional family with a mentally unstable mother and an absentee alcoholic father. The author was homeless in Brooklyn at age six, sleeping in churches and stealing food to survive. From 1944 to 1952 he sells newspapers and shines shoes in Brooklyn to provide for food and pay the $17 monthly rent. In 1952, his mother sits the author and his sister at the kitchen table and calmly tells them “I love you, but I am going to kill you now…don’t worry, you are good children and you will go straight to Heaven”. With butcher knife in hand, she chases the author and his sister 11 long blocks thru Brooklyn right into the 94 Police Precinct where she attacks the officer at the desk. Mrs. Garrahan is taken to Bellevue Hospital. She is confined to Brooklyn State Hospital for the Criminally Insane for 9 years. The author graduates from high school, and studies at seven universities, receiving a Master’s degree from Lehigh University and a Doctoral degree from Columbia University. He conducts research on addiction and publishes numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as four books. Dr. Garrahan has been honored twice in Rose Garden ceremonies at the White House. He is the recipient of several awards and honors. His memoir is the history of a life from ‘rags to riches’.

Artisan Book Review

Destiny Control by David Garrahan is a candid and stirring memoir that covers David’s traumatic childhood and the inspiring achievements he accomplished despite the odds set against him.

Parental neglect, destitution, physical abuse, and emotional abuse are some of the crushing issues that young David Garrahan had to grapple with during his childhood. His father’s alcoholism and subsequent absenteeism and his mother’s mental illness would have a life-long impact on his life. Life in 1940s Brooklyn was extremely difficult for David and his siblings. In 1952, his mother was confined to a mental hospital and his father abandoned them. Still, he strived to turn his life around through inspiring steadfast strength of mind and strategic decision-making.

Throughout the book, David Garrahan displays an outstanding ability for making tactical decisions and pursuing his dreams. During their childhood, David and his brother, Artie are courageous, work hard and learn to survive on the streets by taking up different jobs from shoe shining to selling newspapers. He works on a farm for years and later at a yacht club while attending college. The memoir also contains inspiring accounts of other remarkable people, including Mr. Abe, who took David in.  Then there is Esther Westervelt, a tough but uplifting and encouraging professor who had been a pilot with the Women’s Airforce Service, during World War II.  There are unique photographs of the characters and the documents which are presented help to explain what happens more fully, and gives the reader a deeper experience of the author’s life. Though many times poignant, the book includes many inspiring and joyous moments including times when David Garrahan made significant steps in his career and received recognition for his work. Important lessons can also be gleaned from his research, livelihood, and his work with socially disenfranchised groups. 

Centered on how decisions and behavior influence outcomes, Destiny Control by David Garrahan is a powerful remarkable memoir that inspires a sense of determination and fosters the ability to change one’s destiny through insightful decision-making and unyielding determination. Destiny Control by David Garrahan is an incredible, one-of-a-kind, must read memoir and comes highly recommended by Artisan Book Reviews. Book reviewed by Edith Emunah for Artisan Book Reviews.

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