|Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities
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The bestselling author of Saving Graces shares her inspirational message on the challenges and blessings of coping with adversity.
She’s one of the most beloved political figures in the country, and on the surface, seems to have led a charmed life. In many ways, she has. Beautiful family. Thriving career. Supportive friendship. Loving marriage. But she’s no stranger to adversity. Many know of the strength she had shown after her son, Wade, was killed in a freak car accident when he was only sixteen years old. She would exhibit this remarkable grace and courage again when the very private matter of her husband's infidelity became public fodder. And her own life has been on the line. Days before the 2004 presidential election—when her husband John was running for vice president—she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After rounds of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation the cancer went away—only to reoccur in 2007.
While on the campaign trail, Elizabeth met many others who have had to contend with serious adversity in their lives, and in Resilience, she draws on their experiences as well as her own, crafting an unsentimental and ultimately inspirational meditation on the gifts we can find among life’s biggest challenges. This short, powerful, pocket-sized inspirational book makes an ideal gift for anyone dealing with difficulties in their life, who can find peace in knowing they are not alone, and promise that things can get better.
- Waste of time & $
This book is a total waste of time & money. I believe Elizabeth Edwards is in pain both physically and emotionally. I've always been a fan of her honesty. But her book is not written well and has no real advice on dealing with adversity. I have no idea why she wrote it; maybe she doesn't know either. Clearly she's angry, she's dying and she wants to punish him. But, I wish she'd done that privately. ...more info
- Resilience, you blurt? Nah, more like EXPLOITATION, as in Exploitation of her Cancer, cheating Husband and dead Offspring!!!!!!!
Permit me to proclaim something very clearly before I even start my soon-to-be, award-winning review, which I'm sure will have the majority of female readers swooning to my every word pretty soon, much more so than after an episode of Oprah and a tub of Haagen-Dazs ice cream!
All the prior reviews treat Liz Edwards (hereafter referred to only by her proper form of address, Mrs. John Edwards!) and the evaluation of her book with the proverbial kid gloves and with the skewed and undeserved view that she's somehow the "victim" here. Oh, you know...the "victim" of her cheating husband (that would be Mr. $500-haircut himself!)...the "victim" of her cancer that's eating her alive from the inside...the "victim" having to bury a dead child, etc.! Know that I, your intellectually honest Jerkface McDouchebag, will NOT under ANY circumstance--I repeat: WILL NOT--sacrifice my hard-hitting and morally clear analysis of this book and Mrs. John Edwards just because she has cancer and a cheating husband...NO! To do so--as I feel the majority of these prior, mostly female reviewers have done--would just be so tacky, girlfriend.
With the aforementioned warning now hopefully firmly rooted in the minds of the gullible sheeple who have lapped up Mrs. John Edwards' book with no questions and only subservience (kind of like the liberal MSM lapping up Hussein Obama's glaringly discreditable policies with no questioning, which their role as watchdog should provide, however), I'll now begin my review proper! Ready, girls?! Okay!!
My biggest disappointment with Mrs. John Edwards' tome and something I will not forgive her for soon is her absolutely cowardly dodge of explaining to us readers why--oh WHY!--she basically connived with John Edwards to lie to the country and, more importantly, fellow Democrats on the campaign trail by refusing to expose John Edwards' infidelity from the getgo. The American public deserved a whole hell of a lot better from both Edwardses (especially now in the Obama reign when "change" from the old politics is supposed to denote more transparency!) in terms of honesty, but all we suffered was the John Edwards platitude-lie about his farcical "war on poverty" and the myth of many US servicemen sleeping under bridges (totally debunked by Bill O'Reilly's reporting, incidentally). Instead, taking a page out of the playbook from Hillary (the original doormat who stayed with a philandering husband!), she connived to keep John Edwards' secret all throughout 07 and 08, campaigning with him and lying to the country and Democrat voters in the primaries and caucuses that her husband was above-board--when, as we all know now, John Edwards was a guilty cheat who didn't even have the guts to own up to it. Basically, that describes your average, run-of-the-mill Democrat, so I guess I ought to not be thaaaat surprised! Thanks to the National Enquirer--now, along with FNC, Talk Radio and the WSJ, the ONLY unbiased source of real news in the whole US--we know this. Mrs. John Edwards ought to be nothing but ashamed of herself for her involvement in the John Edwards lie of philandering, and she cannot use her impending death due to terminal cancer to avoid scorn and responsibility in her role in the lie that was standing by John Edwards publicly...PATHETIC!
Ironically, Mrs. John Edwards is quite scorning towards Rielle Hunter--the little hussy who was able to snatch John Edwards from her side with the embarrassingly simple pick-up line of "You are so hot, duh!"(are they, like, fourteen, or something??)--accusing her of being "pathetic." However, given the fact that Mrs. John Edwards was complicit in the connivance between her and John Edwards to lie for up to a year to the American public together with her womanly weakness of "supporting" a cheating husband, I assert that it is in fact Mrs. John Edwards WHO IS PATHETIC!!
My second and just-as-understandable gripe is how Mrs. John Edwards' "Resilience" (laugh-and-a-half) tome is nothing but a whiny, desperate sob-story meets PITY PARTY that she throws for herself!! Reading it, it is stunningly easy to develop clinical depression from how she misuses the tragedies in her life--which, all intellectually honest people will agree, we ALL experience in our lifetimes; she certainly is FAR from unique for having to deal with affairs, her own mortality, or burying a son!--to either score cheap, ideological points or merely to curry favor with a frighteningly overt, politically correct readership. An example of this misdeed by Mrs. John Edwards is her manipulative misuse of her terminal cancer to aggressively push her ideologically liberal platform of universal healthcare. Seriously! You'd think some things are just too sacred to use, but apparently not to this woman!
Mrs. John Edwards--in her good, little, Democrat training to never, ever let a good crisis go to waste (shades of Hillary as the SoS)--recounts a luncheon at the Cleveland City Club where a woman (likely someone too lazy to work to be able to afford her own health coverage) confided in her that she had a lump in her bre*st, yet lacked insurance to get it checked. Doing what all good Democrat robots do, Mrs. John Edwards then makes a pitch for--I kid you not, though I wish I was!--people to call up Congress and b*tch to them about the need for universal healthcare...UNBELIEVABLE!! Again, this kind of low-brow exploitation of personal tragedies to aggressively push for liberal ideology and platforms comes as no surprise as Mrs. John Edwards has, apparently, learnt from the most notorious in Al Gore. In Gore's now debunked, scare-tactic book, An Inconvenient Truth, he actually stoops low himself to use the near-death of his first son as a way of pushing legislation for global warming. Again...seriously! Democrats are simply that shameless by nature!
To recapitulate, this cheap excuse of a book (read: more like a cash-in on Mrs. John Edwards' apparent tragedies suffered in the last couple of years, which she milks for all they're worth like a drama queen) is a mortification. It's written from the cunning mindset of someone who unrelentingly wallows in her apparent tragedies and redundantly beats to death this now-cliched theme: I'm such a poor, poor victim. My husband is a philanderer; my son is dead; I'm dying of cancer! Buy my book and wallow in my self-pity along with me, now!! Mrs. John Edwards' laughable excuse for a book might--just MIGHT--have been a bit redeemable had she actually included among all the self-pity some anecdotes or advice that could really be useful to folks. However, this utterly fails as she's obsessed with--the few instances her book actually takes a breather from tragedy-exploitation and delves ever so superficially into introspection--inexcusably trivial and platitudinal "advice" that more resembles what you'd encounter in an after-school special, an after-school special with very little thought invested in it at that!...more info
- The author loves the spotlight
I did not like this book because the author seemed to be focused on herself and trying to justisy her position. To stay with a husband that is unfaithful doesn't make you a strong person. There have been many people that have gone through the expperiences which she has, but they haven't published books and enjoyed bathing in the spot light....more info
- Excellent book for whatever place in life
This was an excellent book that requires you to not only read but understand. Those that question her motives for writing this reflective, inspirational book should read first and judge later. It is for anyone that has gone through anything that turns your life in a different direction. ...more info
- Totally Boring....
Judging from other reviews, I appear to be the lone dissenter. I found this book to be boring, written by a woman that appears to be as narcisstic as her husband. Elizabeth Edwards wallows in self-pity; she is not the first woman to lose a beloved child; she is not the first woman to have a cheating husband; apparently, she is not the first to be hell-bent on revenge. Until reading this book, I always liked Edwards and was devastated by the death of her child, her health problems and the way her husband treated her by having an affair. Now I just feel pity for a woman who can't seem to get over the idea that - gosh darn it! - she's not as special as she thought she was. The whole thing is too sad. ...more info
- One Powerful Person
Oh God, Change This Scene! Changing the Situation This is a powerful Book because Elizabeth has chosen to be candidly honest about so many challenges & struggles with which she faced.I really enjoy stories of people who showed resiliency in facing lifes realities & adversities.Its hard to understand why John was unfaithful to her, but this is just one of the difficulties she had to deal with. This Book serves as a source of inner strength for many women today undergoing similar or even varying circumstances. Many face similar challenges and Elizabeth, gives to you a clearer insight and a better perspective. You know that she has found ways,to tap into previously unknown resources, in order to deal with her personal challenges. Watching her on Larry King, I noticed that their was not one hard or bitter feeling towards God, or John, or life in general, although she was dealt some pretty tough cards. This is what makes this read so interesting. ...more info
- Elizabeth has a comforting way with words
Great thoughtful book...She has a way with words. And she didn't spend a lot of time writing about her cheatin' man....more info
- Good read
This is a quick read. Very insightful for a person who has suffered and survived the same situations as the author. Yes you too can be resilient if you set your mind to it and this book has tales in it to show you we are still blessed dispite lifes twists and turns....more info
- Burdens as gifts
So much to think about. I am awestruck by the author's brave and honest rendering of how she learned to "adjust the sails" when her life was blown off course. She says that when the map doesn't match the ground that the ground (reality)is right and that new reality has to be accepted as the first step. When we can't change a reality it must then be accepted. And then you have to find a place for you in the new reality. We use what we have at hand in order to survive the sudden winds that change our direction. Elizabeth's book provides a glimpse into one woman's adjustment of her own sails without taking the wind out of any one else's. She faced fear and horror head on and, bravely by choice, turned her burdens into gifts. ...more info
- Take it at face value and you will not be disappointed
Elizabeth Edward's Resilience gives insight into a kind of despair that many of us will never experience. She exposes her inner most thoughts and feelings for everyone to accept or criticize--and there appears to be much of both in the reviews being given about this book. For anyone who is considering the purchase of Resilience, buy it without preconceived ideas of its content. Be forewarned that it is not a tell-all expose on her husband's betrayal of their marriage, although the media continues to focus on the few pages she writes about it. It is one woman's personal account of her many struggles to get beyond the loss of a beloved son, the infidelity of a spouse, and living with terminal cancer. It's her story of rising above adversity and how she lives day to day with occurrences she cannot change. Take it at face value and you will not be disappointed. And if you like looking at the world through other people's eyes who have lived challenging lives and risen above adversity, I would highly recommend Another Fine Mess You've Gotten Us Into: The Life and Adventures of a Quad. It's humorous, inspiring and informational--a true account of a resilient way to live life....more info
- What they said....
I can't add a lot to what the others have written. I've only gotten into the first three chapters, but am really impressed with Elizabeth Edwards' strength and also her poetic way of writing. A lovely book from a lovely, strong woman....more info
- Hello? It is a memoir . . .
not a political document. Elizabeth Edwards never ran for political office and had no obligation to tell anyone anything about her husband's affair. To the contrary, her ONLY obligation was to her family. To suggest that she was complicit in some political conspiracy is absolutely absurd.
By definition, a memoir describes the author's personal life experiences, which I think Elizabeth Edwards does quite competently and at times brilliantly. No one bought this book because they wanted to read about her 28+ years of relative happiness -- indeed, such a book would likely never have been published. Being critical of Ms. Edwards for describing and exploring her response to her son's death, her incurable cancer, and her publicly unfaithful husband makes about as much sense as buying the Joy of Cooking and complaining that all it has it in is recipes and stuff about cooking.
I can only imagine the firestorm if Ms. Edwards had written the book some reviewers think she should have: "yea, my son died, but he wasn't that great and I got over it. Then I got incurable cancer but since I am married to someone influential and we are rich I get great care, so too bad for all those women who don't -- they should have thought about having better parents, or marrying better, or getting an education so they could get a job with benefits BEFORE they got breast cancer. And sure, John cheated on me, but I got the last laugh -- I outed him and so what if that exposed me and my kids to public humiliation, and besides, based upon the prior two sentences you already know that I am too stupid and shallow to really care much about any of them."
I cannot fathom how anyone could characterize this author as a "whiner". She experienced three major blows in a decade. I am a mother of three, and I think 99% of mothers will agree with me that the death of a child is the absolute worst thing that can happen, period, end of discussion. I can't imagine how those mothers even dress themselves. I know as much as I can know anything with certainty that if I lost one of my children, that loss would stay with me every second of every minute of every day for the rest of my life. I found her description of her grieving both poetic and insightful. Grief is not a train that you catch at the station -- I wondered when reading this section if it had taken her 10+ years to bring herself to the point where she could really write about it.
Cancer and an unfaithful husband are in my view relatively small change compared to Wade's death, but I think Ms. Edwards addressed those experiences with compassion, insight, and an enviable level of decorum and respect for all involved. I would have liked to hear more about where she is on those issues now, but I completely respect her right to reveal as much of herself as she feels comfortable revealing at this point. I sincerely hope to someday be reading her book on how she dealt with the challenges she faced in the spring of 2009.
Perhaps it is because I identify somewhat with this author that I feel the need to defend her from what I view as politically motivated attacks. I practiced law for several years, I have three kids, my husband's career took off, and I stayed home and raised the children -- something I view as an honor and a privilege, but it can be lonely work nonetheless, and I know that I am not unique in losing my sense of identity and importance when I quit working. We are a nation that pays lip service to caring about mothers and their children, but at the end of the day, no one in politics much cares about either. I empathize with and respect Ms. Edwards struggle to find -- or maybe redefine -- herself in the face of pretty overwhelming stuff.
The take away message of this book for me was life changing: things happen and then you have a New Reality. Clinging to and fighting for the old reality is both pointless and painful. The very definition of resilience for me is the ability to do that, and, applying that definition, Ms. Edwards is a very resilient woman indeed. ...more info
- Simply beautiful and classy, just like its author!
I watched Elizabeth Edwards on "Oprah" and was very impressed by her, and am equally so by her beautiful book that is sure to become a classic! Her deeply authentic and honest sharing of her life as well as the beautiful, clear style of her writing provide a very helpful road map for anyone having to deal with human life's dualities and hardships. I especially liked her deep insight and conclusion that atrocities are not 'acts of God', but part of the human picture that oftentimes include chance, random events happening, unfairness hitting really good, exceptionally strong people like herself and her focus on what we CAN control, our own beliefs and reaction and response to what happens. In that sense, she walks before all of us with such bravour, showing true response-ability even under the direst of circumstances, enabling us to make something beautiful out of what could be termed very tragic events. This book stays true to its title "Resilience" in every way and will help millions of people undergoing much lesser tragedies than this beautiful, strong soul had to endure. Elizabeth Edwards shines brightly with so much light and grace that I personally much prefer to give this gem of a book as a gift than "When things fall apart", another classic that helps many through a Dark Night of the Soul. Her chapter about Eternity will surely be read and re-read by generations to come, as will this entire pure volume. I salute this leading voice for her formidable example and look forward to more books and will definitely keep her in my prayer!...more info
- Pretty good
Before I read this book, I knew very little about Elizabeth Edwards (or John Edwards for that matter). I knew she was John Edwards' wife and I knew she had cancer, but that was about it. This book offers and short and sweet glimpse into the life of a politician's wife.
For the most part, the writing is pretty good. She manages to talk about the death of her son, her father's health problems, her husband's affair, and her on-going battle with cancer without sounding too cheesy or sentimental. My only criticism is that despite writing about some very personal issues, she doesn't delve too deep into any one of them. Don't expect any juicy details on her husband's affair. And her comments about losing her son or finding out she had cancer aren't anything we haven't heard before from other people writing about the same things. In those regards, the book sometimes feels a bit bland and impersonal, reading more like a self-help book than a short memoir.
Still, this is a quick and enjoyable read. I'm glad I read it. ...more info
- Powerful read; a must for anyone who has lost a child or is dealing with cancer
This book is Elizabeth Edwards at her best; introspective, honest, heart wrenching and full of insights for people who are suffering similar adversity or are sharing the heartache of the loss of a child or cancer with a loved one or friend. "The affair" detail is a small part of what she terms her "new reality" and this book. The main thrust deals with her journey through a life she never expected to live, for better or for worse, and how she has navigated through the nightmares to a better place of living each day to the fullest. Her book is a wonderful example of her desire to help others albeit a cost to herself. I had the pleasure of meeting her in Mpls in 2007; she is real and is driven to make a difference even though she is tired and sick. This is well worth owning; you will use it over and over as you encounter your own battles with this imperfect thing we call life....more info
- Graceful prose; "Gotcha" premise
Elizabeth Edwards has more courage than most any 10 other people combined. She also writes very well, if a bit repetitiously in spots, and this is a slim volume. I would have given the book 4 stars for technique and intelligence were it not for a few points that should be made.
First, much of what is here about Wade's death is also in Saving Graces, and I believe from reading it and Resilience that Mrs. Edwards exhibited some odd behavior for quite a long time. I'm not judging her--far from it--all people who are bereaved have to find their own way. But when, after many months, John told her he didn't want to go to Wade's grave every day, I'm with John. Reading both books, I found myself feeling sorry for Cate Edwards for trying to go on with her life without her mother's full attention, and then for learning from her parents' frantic quest to have more children that she is not enough for them. No one can replace one child with another, and Mrs. Edwards acknowledges as much, but having two more babies at her age is an unusual coping mechanism, which leads me to my second point.
Mrs. Edwards seems gobsmacked that she got breast cancer. First, she lived for several years during her childhood an hour from Hiroshima. She was approaching puberty at the time, and this was only about 15 years after the bombing. She even mentions that babies with birth defects were still common in those years. And about those late-in-life children: She tells us she submitted to aggressive fertility treatments in order to have them. Flooding the body with estrogen over a period of years is, arguably, a risk factor for breast cancer. The studies that make the connection between female cancers and fertility drugs are out there. Is she unaware of them?
Finally, she damns John Edwards by taking the high moral ground and saying she won't talk about the tabloid aspects of his behavior. Both in her television interview and in the book, she comes across as holier than thou in some ways, or at least holier than he. Sure, John Edwards made a mistake and compounded it with lies. But it happens. Just because you ask your husband for something when you're in the first blush of romance doesn't mean you're going to get it 30 years later. People slip. Mrs. Edwards has done herself and her marriage no favors by publicly condemning his actions to the extent that she has. But revenge is sweet at first bite, though it turns into a bitter pill.
Still, I do recommend this book. It's worth reading for her intelligent ruminations on faith and the existence of God. Where she comes down on these issues is an interesting place to land. And I wish Elizabeth Edwards all the best. I hope she can see her children married and hold her grandchildren. I don't believe that praying for it will make it happen anymore than she does, but like her, I won't give up believing in the possibility of the next treatment and the next, as long as it takes to reach the cure. ...more info
- It's a Whiner encased in rose-colored glasses
I feel for the tragedies in Elizabeth Edwards life. She has endured many - but so have all of us - or we will before our lives are over. The way she describes the people in her life - her dead son - her parents - John - are just too perfect too believe. One would think, reading her depiction of him, that Wade was just the most amazing, admirable person who ever lived. I too have a son who died too early, and I live with that pain everyday on some level, some days higher than others. But I don't idolize him because I know he had human failings as we all do. To read Elizabeth's descriptions of Wade, you would think he was God on earth. I am sure he was not - because no human being can be that perfect. Elizabeth has immortalized him in her mind as the Perfect Son because of her pain in losing him. I can understand only too well the pain of losing a child. No parent should have to endure such pain because it is against the natural order of life and death, yet, sadly, many do. The bulk of Elizabeth's book is about Wade. The second most prevalent part is about her battle with cancer. For that I truly sympathize with her because I cannot imagine having to deal with impending death, arduous treatments and pain on a regular basis as she does. For that she is more than entitled to whine. But she should NOT whine about the loss of her son or the infidelity of her husband as much as she does. In a way, she trivializes these misfortunes by infusing them with much larger than life importance. Yes they are important, life-changing, experiences for her AND for all the other people who go through them. We all have to endure and deal with life's adversities - but we should not view our loved ones through the rose-colored glasses that Elizabeth does. They, as we, are human beings with strengths and weaknesses. We should be able to recognize both and love them for and in spite of them.
I also feel that Elizabeth perpetrated a lie on the public by supporting her lying, philandering husband throughout his campaign for the presidency. That was shameful....more info
- sharing pain
the pain of suddenly have your child die and then a few years later being diagnosed with cancer that will kill you is something i felt ms edwards understood. i used to think i was the only one with this string of "luck". my oldest disabled son died six years ago. following that i was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer several months ago. it never left therefore it has always been here. i understand her serenity in the face of death. when you buried your child there is no further or deeper pain and she desbribes them in words i thought only i knew. this is a lonely trip that only two can take: the one not here and the one that is. i do find solace knowing my son but never getting a chance to say goodbye. i appreciated the book in that i did not feel so alone. phyllis baron...more info
- Grace Under Fire
Having enjoyed Mrs. Edwards' previous book Saving Graces, I thought this was a good follow-up with one exception. It is beautifully written in a rambling prosaic way that tugs at the heartstrings in the process of explaining how she has worked through the really tough things that have happened to her over the past 18 years and where she sees herself today.
This book is relatively short. It covers her father's debilitating stroke, the death of her son Wade, her initial cancer diagnosis, the return of her cancer, her father's death, caring for her mother, and her husband's very public infidelity.
The strongest sections include all of the above except the last item (her husband's affair). If you are expecting a sensationalized version of how she found out about her husband's affair with the party girl, his incredibly stupid midnight visit to the bimbo and baby, it isn't there. It is seemingly the least substantial part of the book and no doubt the one issue that has not been completely resolved by Mrs. Edwards for reasons which are fairly obvious. While it seems as though she has absolved her husband of most of the responsibility for the affair and villainized the mistress, I think Mrs. Edwards is still waiting for another bomb to drop. She talks about rebuilding trust and it is clear that trust is something that she is somewhat leery of in regard to John Edwards. It would have been nice if she could have completely ignored this part of her life, but that seems fairly unlikely since it is still getting so much media coverage.
- You can't put toothpaste back in the tub.
I would love to hear the comments of a skilled psychologist on Elizabeth Edwards and the psychology behind RESILIENCE. Perhaps he or she could shed some light on Elizabeth Edward's motivation and thinking as it relates to this book. In many respects I still don't understand why she wrote this book allowing the whole Edwards Affair to be rehashed in the media. Edwards was already done as a politician. Elizabeth's books just puts more nails in his coffin.
First I'd like to say that I was a great supporter of John Edwards in 2004 and he was my original choice for President in 2008. I saw Elizabeth Edwards a number of times on the campaign trail and as a breast cancer survivor I felt a union with her and her stuggle. I found her to be honest, well balanced, independent and strong.
The problem with Resilience is that I came away from reading the book feeling that Elizabeth was not exactly dishonest, but perhaps delusional regarding her marriage and some aspects of life, not well balanced, totally dependent on her husband and much weaker that I had ever thought.
It's clear throughout the book that Elizabeth has never recovered from the death or her son, and still has many issues regarding her father. As she says several times in the book, in her vision she would like to stop the world and turn in back to before events changed her life; the death or her son, finding out about John's indescretions and I stress the plural version of that word. But life does not work that way.
No matter how she attempts to sugar coat the situation, and I do believe that she does a lot of sugar coating of John, she told the world that he was something that he was not after she discovered his affair. She had every excuse to stay at home and not speak for him, but she chose to tell the world of his virtues - virtues that he did not have - and run the risk of helping John get the nomination and then have the entire Democratic slate go down the tubes when the story was revealed. That's in addition to the disservice done to the campaign staff who were pouring out their hearts, souls, time, money and reputations on John Edwards.
Comments like "the other woman is not a part of my world"; "I don't know any people like that;" "If it is John's child it has nothing to do with me;" seem totally out of context for a intelligent, professional, legally trained woman. Her continued devotion to John almost seems to make her more of a victim. And she does a lot of playing the victim throughout the book.
While I read the book anticipating that I would see how strong Elizabeth was in dealing with these aspects of her life, I actually came away finding her to be weak, emotional and sometimes unable to face reality.
For anyone who has a friend who has lost a child, this book is a tremendous incite into the experience. In that regard I found it very meaningful. It further shows how things that happen to you in your childhood impact your later life in so many strange ways. But it also shows how people can justify their conduct based on their own vision of reality.
Elizabeth Edwards would want things to be before these tradegies - she would put the tooth back in the tube. But that doesn't happen in life. Life goes on and you learn to deal with what has happened. She ends her book with an expression that she uses several times during the book - that when the wind comes she was able to adjust her sails. Frankly, I'm not sure that she has adjusted her sails - it was more like she adjusted her version reality. ...more info
- The Power of Adversity...
... is something that Elizabeth Edwards knows a lot about. Grieving mother, cancer patient and a wife scorned could all fit her very well, but the label she wears most proudly is survivor, to the nth degree. Edwards new book, which she muses about the nature of resiliency, is a powerhouse of endurance, self-help, and perseverance.
I can imagine that many people who are going to pick up this book are looking for the lurid details of the latest news in Elizabeth Edwards' life, mainly, the affair her husband Democratic Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards had with a videographer on his campaign. As Edwards says herself, those details will not be found in the book. What is there, which she talks about in her second to last chapter, is her reactions to the affair, and her thought process she went through as she dealt with the betrayal of vows.
But oh, the book is so much more than that. Sometimes, "celebrity" writers are choppy and rambling in their books, even if "ghost written" by someone else. Not so Edwards. Her writing is evocative, personal, and incredibly engaging. Much of the book she wanders through the myraid of feelings she had as her sixteen year old son Wade died in a freak of nature car accident. Edwards as a grieving mother is beautiful and heartbreaking. The chapter she devotes exclusively to Wade cannot be read with a dry eye. Her writing evokes her personal journey in a way that has to be experienced.
But this is not a book of sadness; no, this is a book of continuing on. In the first chapter, she talks about her father's massive stroke and how, after she was told he was brain dead, he continued to live on, almost eighteen years. That lesson gave Edwards the stamina and courage to face whatever obstacles she would encounter in her own life. As she so beautifully put it, you have to "adjust the sails".
I am planning on keeping this book for my lifetime. When time offers trials to me, and I feel like I cannot endure, Edwards' words will give me a renewed sense of comfort. This book would also be an excellent gift to anyone grieving the loss of a relationship, a child, a parent; while each of our journeys is personal, the wisdom shared from that path, as Edwards remarkably does in this slim yet powerful book, can enlighten the road for all of us....more info
- A Lesson in Un-Resilience
I pre-ordered the book for my mother and (much) better half. Neither was impressed and neither will recommend it. They both feel for EE, but said enough is enough. She seemed to have had an obsession with Wade before he tragically died. Apparently that obsession continued after his death to the exclusion of the rest of her life including her living family. While this doesn't excuse John's straying, it makes it much more understandable. The best her story does is to inadvertently warn others what can happen when you are, in fact, not resilient and look at your glass as half empty; maybe half empty is understating things in Elizabeth's case....more info
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