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May This Be The Best Year Of Your Life: A Memoir Paperback – December 3, 2012
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From the Back Cover
- "Sandra Bornstein confronts social, family, and professional challenges with refreshing openness, vulnerability, and determination. I was right with her, sharing both the anxiety and the joy... every step of the way." Rita Golden Gelman, author of Tales of a Female Nomad
- "The writing style is clear and captivating, thus allowing the reader to identify if not visualize the author's journey." Rabbi Bernard Gerson, Congregation Rodef Shalom, Denver
- "Sandra Bornstein's courageous spirit shines through the writing." Marsha Lee Berkman, Coeditor Here I Am: Contemporary Jewish Stories From Around the World
- "... the only way to grapple with uncertainty is with patience... and the only way to assuage fear is with an open heart. Bornstein redefines her future on her own terms with great spirit, supported by faith and love." Janet Ungless, former contributing editor at More
Top customer reviews
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When her husband lands a job with a company in India, Sandra is torn between staying in her nice suburban home in Colorado, or going to poverty stricken India to be with her partner. Bornstein chooses to get a teaching job in India at a prestigious school, but then her husband ends up working mostly from their home in Colorado. Sandra decides to follow her passion for teaching and goes to India on her own. What follows are the ups and many downs she encounters in India. From monkeys visiting her small apartment to the difficulties she faces with several of her co-workers, Sandra shows strength and courage throughout her odyssey.
The thing that stood out most to me was Bornstein's commitment to her students. Despite numerous setbacks, she was always thinking of creative ways to engage her 5th graders in learning. She truly is a natural born teacher.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in travel, education or someone who simply wants a good read. Some added extras include black and white photos which help document the story, and since Sandra uses many Hebrew words to describe what she's experiencing, a glossary at back of the book explains in detail all of the Hebrew used throughout the memoir. Overall, I really enjoyed "May This Be the Best Year of Your Life" and I look forward to reading any other books Bornstein may write.
May This Be the Best Year of Your Life: A Memoir by Sandra Bornstein provides a peek into one woman’s journey. Many factors converge to influence Sandra’s decision to follow her husband to India—professional opportunity for both her husband and herself, pressure in the American economy, a chance to build a relationship with her future daughter-in-law and the call of the exotic life as an ex-pat.
Sandra tackles many issues facing women: balancing love, family and career; choosing to embrace challenging opportunities that require a blind leap of faith; prioritizing health care issues with the inclination to power through pain and discomfort; resisting the preference for American standards to fully embrace a cultural experience.
Sandra and her family faced many obstacles during this year. In addition to the typical—and expected—like issues with food preferences, sanitation & health care, the unanticipated challenges of awkward professional relationships, corporate culture that reneged on promises, unanticipated illness and accidents. Sandra and her family struggle to overcome the fear, discomfort, and cultural gaps to enjoy what their India experience could offer. Her Jewish faith provides a steadying comfort across time, geography and culture.
The story is well-written, emotionally honest and fascinating. I couldn’t put it down. As I read along I found myself wondering how I would have reacted under the same circumstances. What decisions would I have made? Would my commitment to making a difference have been as strong? Could I have persisted as long and as well? What lessons might I learn vicariously through Sandra’s story? Read May This Be the Best Year of Your Life: A Memoir to find out for yourself. Anyone who enjoyed “Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman would like this book as well. Similarly fans of Sandra’s book will thoroughly enjoy Tales of a Female Nomad.
"May this be the best year of your life" is a blessing I now say to my friends and loved ones.
I typically read "thriller" and "page turner" novels mixed in with a biography now and then but this "memoir" caught and kept my interest.
Interestingly it became a "page turner" for me because of the interesting story and writing style of the author.
At a stage of life when many folks are looking for security, the author and her husband take on new jobs and new lives in a part of the world that is difficult for Westerners to grasp and understand.
It is quickly clear to the reader that the author threw herself completely into an attempt to make a difference in a foreign school system using skills and knowledge
acquired in the United States. Her obstacles included many threatened and uncooperative educators, a sometimes incomprehensible culture and a living environment that was at times filthy and visited at times by aggressive monkeys.
To further complicate matters she has to deal with some serious mnedical issues involving herself, her husband and one of her sons.
The author adds a few photos to aid the reader. However, the photos are almost unnecesary due to the fact that the author paints such vivid pictures of her environment in India.
I have recommended this book to many people. In particular I have told my friends in education that I believe they would enjoy the book.
The author's courage and determination in the face of adversity resonate throughout the memoir.
Her adventure and her book are inspiring.