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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Second Chance is a nonfiction health and wellness memoir written by Gang Luo with Lee Stone as a translator and contributor. Gang Luo was born during the Second Sino-Japanese War, in 1939. The Sichuan province where he grew up was a lush and fertile mountain environment, where a variety of fruits, grains and vegetables were cultivated. Families tended their fields, brought the excess to farmers' markets and started cottage industries to help make ends meet. Gang Luo would go on to attend college at the Chong Qing Agricultural Mechanical College. The family’s well-being and health, including that of Gang Luo, was greatly impacted by the political upheavals in China that took place throughout the twentieth century, and while they always had access to medical care and medicine, their health suffered. Gang Luo had actually prepared a burial place for himself in his home village when he was still a middle-aged man. Now, thirty years later, his family loves to tease him about that plot.
Second Chance is a fascinating look at the political and historical events of the 20th century in China and the impact they had on the population, especially those who, like the author, were part of the educated class. He eloquently describes the excessive mandatory work loads and the inevitable associated stress, and he precisely catalogues the strains they put on his health and well-being -- strains that led doctors to warn him of an early death from illness. Gang Luo’s glowing health at the age of 79 is testament indeed to the efficacy of his take-charge attitude about health and wellness. His descriptions of traditional Chinese medicine and the use of both herbs and foods as medicines make for some compelling reading. Gang Luo’s decision to use the best of both Western and traditional Chinese medicines seems to have worked quite well for him. His discussions of his fitness protocols are also well worth considering for anyone interested in enhancing the quality of their life. Second Chance is most highly recommended.