- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (May 3, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 078686513X
- ISBN-13: 978-0786865130
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #974,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Necessary Journeys: Letting Ourselves Learn From Life Hardcover – May 3, 2000
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"I never expected life to be so messy," says Nancy Snyderman, medical news correspondent for Good Morning America, 20/20, and ABC News, in the opening to Necessary Journeys. Here she tells her own story--not a glittery story of a woman's achievements (though she could have written that story instead), but a raw one of "those parts of our lives that have influenced and shaped us without enriching our spirits." We read about Snyderman's rape as a college sophomore by a man wielding a knife at her throat, and how she didn't tell anyone for two years. We read about her depression, weight gain, and fear following that incident. She was also later diagnosed with "a rare form of lymph node cancer, which very few people survive." After 72 hours of tests and expert consultations, she learned that what she actually had was not cancer but a tick-borne virus. Snyderman learned firsthand the panic and isolation of a cancer diagnosis--"the stripping away of self ... the desperate dependence on the intelligence and training of strangers"--and she also experienced a speedy reprieve. The combination of the two made her a better and more compassionate doctor. We also share her experience of marrying a man who spent all her money, led a double life, and put her into devastating debt.
We also hear the happy stories--people who inspired her, her beginnings in television, adopting a baby--but what grip us are the shadow sides of her life. "By telling this story, I make sense of the senseless," writes Snyderman. By juxtaposing her stories with her current understanding, Snyderman passes along worthy advice for others facing similarly overwhelming situations. --Joan Price
From Publishers Weekly
Although this popular medical correspondent on Good Morning America and 20/20 has a full life as a practicing surgeon, mother and wife, she recounts some painful moments and admittedly poor choices on her journey to midlife satisfaction. In a narrative that is positioned as self-help but is actually more of a memoir framed with references to Scott Peck, Parker Palmer, Carol Gilligan and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Snyderman tells of a seemingly idyllic Midwestern family life in Fort Wayne, Ind., where her physician father was a role model for her professional aspirations. She reveals that she was raped in college and believes that the silence and shame attached to the experience lingered with her for years in the form of depression, low self-esteem, social withdrawal and weight issues, until she finally sought help after her first marriage failed. Along the way, however, Snyderman's problems didn't prevent her from attending medical school, getting married and taking a residency in Pittsburgh, where, by accident, she got her start on TV. Later, she established a practice in Little Rock, Ark., socialized with the Clintons, married a man who, she says, ultimately was unfaithful and took her money. Her story harbors many emotional touchstones and triumphs: a cancer scare, a happy romance and successful third marriage in San Francisco, a magical bonding with an adopted daughter, her newborn son's breathing problem and consequent hospitalization. Yet many readers, especially Snyderman's TV audience, may be curious about some issues that are only partly revealed, such as her parents' response to her rape and her relationship to the father of her second child. (June)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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With this simple yet powerful statement, Nancy Snyderman immediately draws women from all walks of life into a common circle--her circle, our circle. Necessary Journeys is Nancy's story. But it is, at least in part, the story of most every woman. Certainly Nancy Snyderman could write for Story Circle Network and fit right in with the rest of us! Her life is full of stories worth telling, and many of them can be credited with helping her to become the person she is today.
This confident, poised and respected ABC News medical correspondent has penned a book filled with hope and promise. But she has also tempered it with honesty and introspection. Her list of accomplishments is no small feat. Snyderman is a wife, a mother of three, a practicing surgeon, a journalist and a news correspondent. Her previously published works include Dr. Nancy Snyderman's Guide to Good Health for Women Over Forty, Girl in the Mirror: Mothers & Daughters in the Years of Adolescence, and Food & Mood: The Complete Guide to Eating Well and Feeling Your Best.
"Just what can this woman possibly have in common with me?" you ask. Probably more than you might ever imagine. Necessary Journeys takes the reader through Snyderman's life--the good and the bad of it--and offers the reader encouragement in her own life. With her sensitive approach, she is able to validate the roles and the conflicts in which women naturally find themselves: motherhood, career-oriented women often in a male dominated world, and females facing physical changes due to what the author refers to as "Moon Magic"--the hormonal phases of a woman's life.
Although I can relate very closely to many of the situations Snyderman has shared in her book, the most powerful chapter for me was "The Power of Love." Perhaps it was the fact that I was reading the book for my first time (in its original hardback version) at the same time I was dealing with a similar situation.This vivid accounting of a woman and her child in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) resounded with familiarity. The summer of 2000 found me spending much of my time in the local NICU next to my premature grandson. I know all too well the sensations that Snyderman reveals as she writes this chapter:
"Sometimes, the road takes us to places where our spirits are challenged in the deepest sense, and where the essence of the gift of life is revealed to us through the threat of its loss... I found myself at such a place nearly six years ago and, at that intersection, discovered the meaning of hope."
With agonizing accuracy, Snyderman has captured in this chapter the essence of hope, life, and love. She speaks candidly about how she was keenly aware of the severely ill children by the absence of a rocking chair next to their isolettes. She shares the feelings of heartache and jealousy over her inability to rock her own baby as other mothers nearby did so. The author is quick to point out that although her son is now happy and healthy, she "makes a point of remembering" just how ill he was and just how large the threat of losing him was in her life. She knows! She really and truly knows! Although many are quick to say they understand another person's situation, few really do unless they have been there themselves. Snyderman was there...she understands me...I understand her.
As I read the final chapter, "In the Circle of Women," It was as though she was writing about Story Circle Network: "I think stories play a particular role in the lives of women, who are storytellers by nature. We invent ourselves through the process of storytelling... Stories support, heal, and above all, inspire us."
Reading this book is inspiring. I have recommended it to every female friend and family member in my life. No doubt I will read it a few more times before all is said and done. Rarely do I plan to re-read a book. But in the case of Necessary Journeys, it is, well, necessary!
by Lee Ambrose
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
I also really enjoyed how she emphasized how important it is for females to build a community of other caring females, and to get this message out particularly to our girls. She also goes on to mention that you can give some of your time and effort to the schools, and let them understand what you have done and been through and with our experiences can help others.
Being addicted to self-help books, and trying to make myself the best I could be. Nancy's book touched me in a way no other has. I always assumed she had, had a life of priviladge and ease. One without struggles or harsh desitions. I am at a crossroad in my own life and reading it has given me the confidence to step beyond, and look to the future with a bit more confidence, in the good things that my future may hold for me. It's helped me be less depressed and alone. Just knowing that everyone has problems to endure, even Nancy,has helped me focus beyond my prolems, to a solution and a good future.
The book came into my life at just the right moment. Thank you Joy and Sue for telling me I HAD to read this book.
"SIMPLE MONEY SOLUTIONS: 10 Ways You Can Stop Feeling Overwhelmed By Money and Start Making It Work For You," really did work for me. I didn't even know what I didn't know about money. This book has shown me the way to financial freedom.
Coupled with "NECESSARY JOURNEYS," I feel like I am finally getting a chance to take charge of my destiny and lead the life I was placed on this earth for.