Emily"s Walk: The Indiana Amusement Park Tragedy and a Family"s Quest for Justice
By John Krull
Guild Press; $24.95
Emily"s Walk is available at local bookstores.
Author John Krull fashions the following paragraph concerning his subject, Emily Hunt, who was the victim of an accident at Old Indiana Family Fun-n-Water Park: "There was a time, more than five years ago, when she did not have to sleep in a hospital bed - a time when she did not have to undergo constant sessions of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, when she did not constantly have to take medication or subject herself to treatments. A time when she did not have to live in a wheelchair." This prose gives you a good idea of Krull"s approach to the painful, horrifying subject of this accident. Krull pulls on your heartstrings, but only with the gentlest of tugs. If you"ve lived in Indiana for very long, you"ll recall this story: A family, comprised of grandparents and grandchildren, visit an Indiana theme park. A miniature train ride careens out of control, injuring 4-year-old Emily and her sisters, but it also kills her grandmother, Nancy Jones. In Krull"s hands, we get to the pathos of the story, without being overwhelmed with sentimentality. His approach is methodic, almost subdued, and if Emily"s Walk were just a story of the Hunt family"s struggle to cope with this catastrophe, it would already be worth a read. Yet Krull takes us further, into the political struggle aspect of the story, where public figures such as Gov. Frank O"Bannon play a prominent role. It"s an investigation into the political process itself, the frustrating, sometimes internecine machinations that occur with frequency in our state government. Krull knows the landscape: He enjoyed a successful career as an Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis News reporter, before moving on to be executive director of the ICLU. There"s a cauldron of material here to outrage any reader, yet Krull treats his subjects with insightful detachment. In the process, he gives us a deeper understanding of what it takes for one, fierce constituent - Emily"s dad, Mike Hunt - to fight the bureaucracy Ö and win. Emily"s Walk is available at local bookstores. John Krull will sign copies of Emily"s Walk Friday, Oct. 25 at 5 p.m. at the Glendale B. Dalton. Proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit spinal cord injury research. Hear Krull talk to Hoppe and Poyser this Sunday night on NUVO"s X-Press It on the X at 10 p.m. on 103.3.