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4.6 out of 5 stars
Perfectly Imperfect: A Life in Progress
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Perfectly Imperfect is pretty perfect. Lee is utterly honest about herself, which I find incredibly endearing. I laughed myself silly reading the chapter about gift-giving "nothing with a plug, please" as well as while reading "take me out of the ball game!" and "money can't buy me style." And I shed at least a few tears towards the end of the book, in "my dad," "chutes and ladders," and "what I know now." Lee displays a broad range of understanding and empathy for just about every aspect of life, from the mundane to the mysterious, while her love for her family and friends shines through loud and clear.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Few can forget Lee Woodruff's first memoir, In An Instant, with its candor, courage and humor. It is the story of the enormous struggle facing Lee and her husband, Bob, after he was severely wounded by a bomb in Iraq. Of this tragedy now she is quoted as saying "With the injuries he had, he shouldn't be alive......He shouldn't be able to walk, talk, much less work. So it's a miracle that we see every day."

She celebrates that miracle and more in her second memoir, Perfectly Imperfect, and narrates it as only she could. Her voice is unforgettable to many listeners but with added touches of determination, joy, and hope for this reading. This listener felt that perhaps the determination came in when she discussed the challenges of having "a boy and a girl on the precipice of serious adolescence" in the family.

This likable, remarkable woman has much to share, and all of it is more than worth hearing as she touches on family, marriage, and friends, all with great good grace and often humor.

Enjoy!

- Gail Cooke
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I loved In an Instant. I picked up this only because I'd enjoyed her other book and was curious how their journey was going. But I almost didn't, because I didn't like the title and the cover photo made it look like it was going to be too Nora Ephronish (I like Nora Ephron but I was looking for more from someone who wrote so touchingly and openly about coping with her husband's severe head injury.)
BTW, i also think the smiley knees chapter was the weakest! despite the fact that the celebrity blurbs on the backcover and the jacket inside flap touted her observation on aging as hilarious... I found them sorta superficial, a little sad, but still, the sort of things I do laugh about with my college girlfriends over wine at our periodic dinners --amusing though and, as the blurbs promised, Erma Bombeckish...and I share her feelings about Amusement Parks and how exhausting it is to watch 4 kids have "the time of their lives."

But I was pleasantly surprised at her ability to remember and write touchingly not only about the ordeal with Bob's injury, but also about life's more common challenges-- the discovery of her father's aging and daughter's disability (deafness) (while Bob was away) and how she coped and helped her daughter by talking clearly, loudly, distinctly, repeating herself, repeating herself. It made me love her. Lee has such insight to coping with Life's curves. It really is an advice book as we find in last chapter that is SPOT ON for people dealing with any sort of grief.

I also found comfort in her descriptions of her daughter's mortification when she was dancing so enthusiastically to 70's music at a party... if _Lee Woodruff's_ daughter feels this way and Lee can respect her feelings (by leaving the party) but also continue asserting her right to feel and dance with joy upon exiting--eventually getting her daughter to finally concede that her dancing was hilarious and finally join in--I can do with my own daughter who alternately loves and "hates" me, pushes me away and needs me.

What wonderful vingettes she shares. She, Bob and their 4 kids are so fortunate to have each other and we're so fortunate she decided to share. I love also the chapter on gift-giving. Clearly gifts are not her "love language" ... and it is so sweet how hard (and sometimes cluelessly) Bob tries. I love her description of the worst (clunky stainless steal giaganic Dynesty style oriental "gem" stone vs. the best gift he ever gave her: Arranging for babysitting for her small children and sending her off to a writer's workshop...a loving thoughtful gift that--unlike clunky jewlry or a vaccume cleaner or Victoria's Secret to replace her granny nightgowns-- was selflessly, all about her.
And isn't it nice how what goes around comes around? She gets a writer's workshop and we get the best book of essays on marriage and motherhood since my beloved Erma Bombeck passed --along the lines of Anna Quinlan.
(Lee, tell your publicist)--I'd love to see a syndicated weekly column in the style section of my newspaper and get a regular uplift from your touching, humorous and comforting observations on life. It would be a public service and might help save the newspapers :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
I was blessed to hear Lee Woodruff speak at the Women in Law Symposium in Florida which gifted her book. Lee's candor and instinct for knowing what is real and what matters in life comes through in her writing. Reading this book was like sitting and chatting with a girlfriend who has overcome extreme challenges and still can crack a joke to make you laugh. I highly recommend this book to women of all ages because whatever we are facing in our own life, it is an inspiration to know that Lee has made it through all she has and continues to live with enthusiasm. What matters, matters.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I can't wait until her next book! Please, please may there be a next book! I purchased her first book, co-written with husband Bob Woodruff, after I read this one (pick that one up too, you won't be disaponted) You will be passing this book on to friends, or telling them to buy it the instant you read the first chapter, highly relatable, intelligent and fun. Few books make me laugh out loud, Perfectly Imperfect had me laughing through-out because of Lee's stories and the fact that they remind you of your own. Get ready for a journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I saw Lee on The Bonnie Hunt Show first and decided to buy her book. It's funny but so true to our lives as parents and spouses. It's a easy read. You don't have to read it all at once, which is good for me, as sometimes I have three books going at once. Lee's been through a lot but seems to take it in stride.
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on December 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lee Woodruff hasn't had an easy life--it's been a huge juggling act with a journalist husband, four children, one of whom is hearing-impaired, and then as if this weren't enough to handle--her husband's brain injury stemming from a bomb explosion while he was covering the war in Iraq.

But this book isn't a "Poor me" book at all. It contains so many amusing stories almost any parent can identify with--the generation gap between a middle-aged parent and a teenager, the scary firsts--driver's license and college interview, a wild day in an amusement park with all four children and stories that will resonate with middle-aged moms--the attempt to keep up with fashion when sweats and sneakers hold more appeal, a stolen jewelry box that held a sentimental journey down memory lane, how swimming keeps this mom sane, how team sports leave her cold (most of the time), and how she fell in love with a dog despite her prior resistance to pet ownership.

And of course the serious stories which will require you to have your Kleenex ready--her dad's failing health and her husband's unimaginable ordeal.

I laughed, I cried. I was sometimes surprised, sometimes fascinated. I never expected to have so much in common with Lee Woodruff. I too have found solace in lap swimming. I prefer casual clothes. Team sports aren't for me. I'm in love with a dog but I don't own one (I visit like a good auntie and give him back). She was more of a helicopter parent than I was even though she has four children and I have one. But I empathized with most of her parental struggles and give her four stars for keeping me largely entertained. A couple of the chapters became a little tedious (for example, I read all I ever needed to know about pets). But all in all, a heartfelt story.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved Perfectly Imperfect I found myself laughing at Lee's one liners and the way she shares so many experiences as a mother, wife, daughter, and friend. She shares so much insight to motherhood raising a son, daughters, challenges you face as a parent, and also the joys. She shares her love for Bob her husband and his wonderful gifts he has given her over the years. You will be left wondering what she will get this Christmas from him. She also shares true friendship with her good friend Melanie and how friends are there for you through the good, bad, and ugly. It will remind you of those true friends in your own life. Perfectly Imperfect will have you reflecting on your own life whether your a mother, daughter, or wife. It is a book you will share with others and reflect on your own memories in the roles Lee shares. I encourage every mother and daughter read Perfectly Imperfect.
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on April 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
I picked up the paperback version the other day at the bookstore; what a great book. I devoured the stories; I laughed, got knots in my stomach and at the end wished there was more. What a triumph to hold it all together during a family crisis, learn, reflect and still keep a sense of humor when you really want to scream at the top of your lungs. I recommend this book to every woman who is part of a family, has kids, sisters, brothers, aging parents. She is a thoroughly observant writer.
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on July 30, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I enjoyed her writing. It was not exactly what I had expected, but I did enjoy it. She has led an interesting life.
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