Those Darn Stripes

Non-Fiction - Memoir
111 Pages
Reviewed on 12/24/2021
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Author Biography

Tyrel Nelson wears many hats—award-winning writer, bilingual teacher, non-profit organizer, and service-trip leader—to name a few. Tyrel has lived in Venezuela, Spain, Nicaragua, and Ecuador and is passionate about leading volunteer trips all over Latin America. In his latest memoir, Travels and Tribulations, he shares details from his unique experiences abroad and immersing himself in other cultures. He weaves his travel experiences with some of life’s greatest trials, emotions, and tender mercies throughout his beautiful books.

He holds a B.A. in Journalism and Spanish Studies—plus a School for International Training TESOL Certificate. He’s spent time teaching English abroad and currently teaches Spanish in his home state of Minnesota. He and his wife have been married 6 years, have a 15-month-old daughter, and a 31-year-old painted turtle, Kirby.

When he’s not jet-setting around the globe or working, Tyrel enjoys every minute spent with family—and playing his guitar for loved ones.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Those Darn Stripes is a work of non-fiction in the memoir genre. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by Tyrel Nelson. The book is a reflection on the author’s life during a period of intense turbulence and change, in which they return home from teaching abroad only to find themselves unemployed and ending a long-term relationship. Consoled through this period by his father, the author begins to recover only for his father to pass away, leaving him without his closest friend and confidant. Now in the world without his main source of emotional support, the author reflects on the connection with his father as well as older parts of his life.

This book is a beautiful depiction of the bond between father and son, and Tyrel Nelson’s loving description of his time with his father Jay never failed to be deeply moving as their bond carried the author through one of the most difficult periods of his life. One of the things that are so difficult to articulate about grief is that when you share a close relationship with someone, in particular a parent, their influence extends into almost every aspect of your life. With the person at the center suddenly gone, it’s almost alien to experience the things you used to share without them. This feeling was captured perfectly in Those Darn Stripes as the reflections on the past see the author use the memories of his father to continue finding joy in the things that they once shared. An emotional and thoughtful read, I recommend this book to all.