What an engrossing, enthralling book about a remarkable, curious, and thoroughly charming woman! Marian Tompson changed the world - positively, energetically, and gently - for untold millions of mothers, babies, and families. This book has been a sheer delight to read, both for its "story" of a woman's life, and the historical significance of Marian's influence as president of La Leche League International during a crucial time in history. Wow.
Marian Tompson did not start a war. She did not end any. She did not make a billion on Wall Street, she did not lose it. She was not the star of a blockbuster movie, she was not famous just because she was famous. She was still one of the most important people of the twentieth century.
With fellow radicals Marian reduced the world's GDP more effectively than any terrorist or communist organization. Yet they did it by bringing life to the world, not death.
Her autobiography, Passionate Journey: My Unexpected Life talks about a woman who was my some measures very ordinary. She loved being a mother and had seven children, not unusual for the 1950s and 1960s. She did distinguish herself by breastfeeding all her children, by having all the births of her children after the first three at home and by not using physical punishment. This was unusual, but not extraordinary.
When she formed a breastfeeding support group with her neighbors she was being different, but she was probably not the first. When she agreed to be president of this small group it still seemed like nothing of note outside her community.
What was different was that this group, subversively called La Leche League ("The Milk" in Spanish, avoiding the use of the forbidden word "breast"), exploded as hundreds, and then thousands, and then millions of women hungered for more information about feeding their infants naturally despite the fact that most information publicly available on infant feediing at the time was controlled by infant formula manufacturers. These were the years where the only acceptable place in public for breastfeeding was a toilet and where the word itself was as unlikely to be heard in the media as the F-word.Read more ›
I just finished reading the book. I'll be honest that I wish it had been about four times as long. I felt like some phases of Marian's life were kind of skimmed over and I wanted to know so much more about them. I'm sure that was because a book written for the general public must be somewhat circumspect, but maybe one day she'll write a follow-up just to fill in some of the blanks. Marian and her life are SO fascinating!!!
The way that she carried herself with such grace in formal situations, knowing that she represented breastfeeding mothers who are always the real experts, is incredibly inspiring to me. Like Ghandi and Dr. Martin Luther King, she has a rare combination of humility and conviction that has transformed the world. She exemplifies the adage that a worldwide movement starts with just a single person with a full heart.
The only real criticism I have of the book is that I don't think it was laid out well (which I know is not anything the writers had any control over). I DID like the quality of the paper, the cover, and the fonts that were used for the titles, but the font size used in the main text was too small, the margins too narrow, and the space between paragraphs strange. I also found quite a few typos, which was surprising in a professional publication.
More importantly, I have seen next to no promotion of this important book in breastfeeding and natural parenting circles. I think Hale Publishing is seriously dropping the ball on promoting the book. They have such a rare opportunity to promote a book about a living legend. Marian is beloved by so many. This book would sell like hotcakes to all those in the breastfeeding/natural parenting world IF PEOPLE KNEW IT EXISTED!!!!
But it's a wonderful book about a wonderful woman. I encourage all of Marian's fans to purchase and read this book. Prepare to be inspired!
This book is fascinating. How an "ordinary" woman together with other "ordinary" women, focused on the needs of their families thereby changing the culture. How Marian spoke for those who couldn't speak- the babies. How she helped to make the world a healthier, happier, stable place for babies and families everywhere.
_Passionate Journey_ is written in an easy to read, flowing fashion. I felt like I was sitting down to tea with Marian Tompson and Melissa Vickers as they told the story. Thank you for the beautiful story of love and passion, M & M.
How often do you read a book and decide to just go straight back and read it again?
I'm in the last chapter of Marian Tompson's new memoir, called 'Passionate Journey: My Unexpected Life', and feeling so sorry it's almost over, that I intend to read it all over again!
There are so many things we take for granted now that were ushered in by this amazing, unassuming woman, simply sticking up for her right to enjoy her children.
A housewife and adoring mother who has done so much and traveled to so many places, met --and influenced-- so many people in influential positions, I think anyone would be surprised to live such a life. Expect to see photos of Marian posing with (or receiving a hug from) Gladys Knight, Ed Asner, Dr. Spock, Phil Donahue, and Princess Grace, and read how Walter Cronkite really blew it!
Here is a woman who ALWAYS errs on the side of kindness. She is polite, honest, determined, un-jaded, almost unflappable, and has a wonderful sense of humor. She is not above laughing at herself and some of the predicaments her travels and speaking engagements have presented, like counting stops on a small plane, as if it were a bus ride, and being brought to a communal bath on her very first day in Japan. She also shares about her beloved husband, Tom, their home life, their children, and their parting at Tom's untimely death. You'll laugh. You'll weep. You'll wonder how all this could really happen to a woman who is really an average citizen, and you'll be amazed at how she has influenced the medical community, government policy, WHO and UNICEF recommendations, by being polite, honest and determined.
I have had the honor of providing hospitality to Marian, and have heard many of these stories (and several more!) at my own kitchen table.Read more ›