51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Life on the bright side
, April 12, 2011
This review is from: No Biking in the House Without a Helmet (Hardcover)
As the Kirkus Review so aptly put it, this is "an upbeat chronicle of a life that has been lived on the bright side of the road, its ruts beveled by naked love." Having known and loved this family for 20 years, having been along with them for the ride, I have to admit to a certain partiality. So I leave it to others to be objective and I think their reviews give credence to my not-impartial enthusiasm for this author and her remarkable abilities as a story teller. It comes naturally to her -- conversations on walks around the neighborhood, on breezy screen porches, over makeshift dinners or gala Passover seders over the years, have been full of tears and laughter -- mostly laughter -- as Melissa has shared the stories of her parenting journey, many of which are beautifully captured in this book. My son, an only child, had the remarkable good luck to be great friends with Melissa's #3 Lee. We lived just down the street so his younger life was lived between the quiet of our household and the raucous fun at the Greene-Samuel's. Even our lone pet, Lulu the huge Golden Retriever, knew where to find the party when she was so inclined, and considered little Frannie, the Rat Terrier, to be her best friend. Somehow, the concept of overwhelm hasn't made it into Melissa's or Donny's consciousness. There was always time to work on science projects, put together Halloween costumes, write amazing books, cook dinner, visit with friends, cheer at soccer games, soothe hurts, do the laundry -- lots of laundry, care for aging parents, and pick up the phone to call me whenever Lulu wandered over to let me know not to worry. Being privy to this way of living has the potential to make a regular person feel inadequate! But the good-humored, big-hearted humanity that earnestly radiates from this family always leaves me inspired and hopeful and encouraged that there are people like this on this earth. For years I've been hoping Melissa would take her own extraordinary life and family as the subject for her writing, understanding that she would need to strike a balance between candor and delicacy. Now she's done it and she's done it respectfully, thoughtfully and brilliantly. You are in for a treat!
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