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Judge a book by its cover?,
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This review is from: Syd Arthur (Paperback)
When I saw the cover of this book, I expected to be entertained watching a modern, consumer-loving woman (Syd) dapple in the world of her namesake, Siddhartha of Buddhism fame. What I didn't expect was that instead of laughing at Syd's expense, I would be asked to turn the lens around and reflect on my own unconscious behavior. Hooray to this creative writer who deftly opens us to Syd's world and our own world at the same time. In the opening chapters, Syd is a character I really wanted to dislike because, well, there's so much of her to dislike. She saunters naively and self-indulgently through her days with a peer group and family that does the same. Does the author want us to see her as a comical caricature of our times or as the annoyingly real lady we've seen breeze past us at the mall? And what was it like for Ellen Frankel to hang out with Syd day-in and day-out as she wrote the novel? Therein lies the gift of Syd Arthur; through Syd's tortoise-slow movements from shopping sprees and calorie-counting to an alternative reality of wakefulness, the reader is invited to give witness to the fledgling first steps of a young seeker needing the support and compassion of a patient friend. Who am I to judge a woman nursed and raised by, and in, an unconscious world? Why did I close down to her and when did I start seeing her as more? Where else am I sleeping in my own life? Kudos to this author who was willing to stand by Syd and ask no less of the reader. In the final chapters, I was giving my friend Syd a standing ovation and the talented Ellen Frankel as well. And did I mention it was a HOOT to read?! There are many layers to this book's cover.