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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Virgil's Story is an autobiographical memoir in which Virgil D. Mochel recounts his entire life and the story of how the Mochel family found its footing in America. The book opens with Virgil narrating how his ancestors from both sides of his parents' family arrived in America following the religious persecution of Protestants in different parts of Europe. After his father's family settled in Woodland, Indiana, he married Virgil's mother after a ten-year-long period of courtship. Virgil describes his childhood with his siblings on their small family farm, surviving the Great Depression, and the tragic loss of his two brothers in World War II. In part two, he delves into his life as an adult, leaving Woodland, marrying Marian, his time at Purdue University, working at Firestone, and in the end, the lives of his children and grandchildren in the 21st century.
Virgil's Story is not only Virgil D. Mochel's account of his life but the history of multiple generations of a family, from their arrival in America to chasing the American dream in its entirety. This is an all-American success story. Mochel leaves nothing out in providing a faithful reiteration of real-life events that shaped the course of his and his family's present and future. With scrumptious prose and an easy-going narrative style, Mochel's tale feels relatable and engaging in a way only top-tier autobiographies are. The complementary pictures throughout the pages bring a sense of nostalgia to the narrative that feels almost infectious. Emotionally relevant and captivating to read, I highly recommend this autobiography.