In A Course in Fun With Fast Eddie: 10 Ways to Turn Life’s Journey Into a Joyride, first-time author and residential designer-builder Karen Wiand tells the inspiring story of her friend Eddie and details what readers can learn from him.
Eddie Lee, a.k.a. Fast Eddie, was starved as a baby, resulting in a cognitive disability. He later earned his catchy nickname for his habit of speedily biking around town. He and the author grew up as neighbors in Carson City, Michigan, and reconnected in 2009 when her sister read about him in the local newspaper and Wiand paid a visit to his squalid adult foster care home.
Each of the 10 chapters is a motivational lesson wrapped around uplifting stories about Eddie geared toward able-bodied readers. In Chapter 6, “Treasure Everything,” for example, the author observes that most people don’t appreciate what they have and strive to accumulate more, while Eddie experiences gratitude for everyday things; good coffee, good weather, good friends. Underlying it all is Fast Eddie’s longtime philosophy, “[T]he world becomes a playground when you show up for your assignment with an open and happy heart.”
Wiand’s book is well written, with a nice sense of timing, rhythm and simile. In a tale about a swimming outing with a teenage Eddie, a passel of younger kids, and a grandfather, she writes, “We… hurried back across the street, making a beeline for the water like sugar donuts headed for a dunk in a glass of milk.” The only down side to Wiand’s charming similes is that they appear far too often, weakening their impact.
While Fast Eddie does a wonderful job of showing its namesake’s resilience and joyful attitude, it reveals just as much about the author, who takes Eddie out of his abusive residence and welcomes him into her own. This is a quick-moving, feel-good book that will make you want to slow down and savor the world…just like Eddie.
Also available as an ebook.