72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar (Paperback)
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*wow* This book is from the writer, Cheryl Strayed Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. It's a collection of various letters and the advice M's Strayed gave to her readers on theRumpus.ne.
This isn't like any advice columnist you've ever read before, with the possible exception of Dan Savage Savage Love: Straight Answers from America's Most Popular Sex Columnist. But Mr Savage's columns deal all most entirely with sex. M's Strayed's columns covers the whole emotional minefield of human emotions.
"Sugar" is M's Strayed's pen name, like "Dear Abby" and "Dear Ann Landers" but her answers are totally different. "Sugar" reads and answers the questions that are asked as well as the unspoken questions. Reading Sugar is like getting advice from a trusted aunt or older girlfriend. I guess moms could give this advice, but I know this mom would be too emotionally involved with the situation to even think about anything intelligent to say.
Sugar is not a shrink nor does she pretend to be one. She answers her readers carefully and lovingly. She also reveals huge chunks of her own life while giving the advice. And it's not like "Oh, darling, I have never mixed up the salad fork with the soup spoon and caused much shame to my mother-in-law. What were you thinking?". It's more like "Oh you did that? Here's a piece of my life that I think with resonate with you". And it's not about the time she got to ride on the pony outside of the drugstore so many times she puked. It's about her grief over her mother's death, her first marriage, and many other things that will make you go "WTH"?
In one way, her revelations make it a hard book to absorb. Your heart just aches for this poor woman, for all her trials and tribulations. But Sugar's not asking you to feel pity for her, she is telling you this piece of information to let you know you aren't the only screwed up person in the world. Sugar has worked her way through her problems and understands your problems. And that understanding, that connection, that love she feels for the reader, always shines through her writing.
One of the most touching things Sugar talks about is her mother - her love and admiration for her mom and the subsequent loss she feels because her mom died. Most people who haven't lost a parent do not realize that the loss tends to define your life. It makes a person different to have lost a parent and she lost her mom young (but there is no good time to lose your mom). Sugar makes me feel like I'm not crazy because although I carry my mom within me, I still miss her.
I recommend this book highly to anyone. Sugar's love and joy for life makes the reader realize life is worth living despite the crappy hand you were dealt. That the reader can come through this experience and actually have a better life. So if you didn't have a perfect life (and who does?), you will benefit from reading this book.
Buy it, read it, and recommend it to your friends.