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The Power of Adversity...,
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This review is from: Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities (Hardcover)
... 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.