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Into My Father's Wake Paperback – March 20, 2012
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I stumbled onto Eric's story by accident, ironically a condition I believe never truly exists. It has been over 30 years that I recall meeting him and his first wife over several games of Bridge while an ensuing casual friendship developed. I can vouch for his "patience and perseverance:" My poor play demanded it and as such, neither drew forth his competitive nature nor his anger and pain. In retrospect, his seemingly deep appreciation and affinity for Billy Joel's earlier edgy songs might have been an indicator, had I been more perceptive. But we were all younger and blinder and played our cards close to our vest. Over much time and distance, it is a special joy to discover how much a friend from long ago has grown both out of himself and into himself. You will find growth of your own by reading his story.
Eric ends his work with a quote from Gibran so let me end this review with one in kind on children:
..."You may house their bodies but not their souls,
for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday."
The unflinching honesty of this close-up self-examination can be tough to take, but "Into My Father's Wake" was hard to put down. Apart from a few odd digressions about corporations "in thrall to the power of global capital" and "the corporatization of life," the book rang true. The tale has many twists, mirroring the author's own years of conflicted feelings and self-doubt, until it ultimately becomes a moving story of forgiveness. As he painfully comes to forgive his father, he ultimately must learn to forgive himself.
I found myself all throughout this book. The explorer in me is tantalized (do I have the guts to take on a challenge like that???); the son, touched and liberated; the lover and ex-husband, nourished and reassured; and the future father, excited to get a glimpse of the love Best shares with his daughter...
Read it and pass it along. I did and both my parents loved it as well.