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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Resilience by Elizabeth Edwards~★★★★

Author: Elizabeth Edwards
Title: Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities
Release Date:
May 8th, 2009
Publisher:
Broadway
Genre:
Non-Fiction

Book Jacket: "She’s one of the most beloved political figures in the country, and on the surface, seems to have led a charmed life. In many ways, she has. Beautiful family. Thriving career. Supportive friendship. Loving marriage. But she’s no stranger to adversity. Many know of the strength she had shown after her son, Wade, was killed in a freak car accident when he was only sixteen years old. She would exhibit this remarkable grace and courage again when the very private matter of her husband's infidelity became public fodder. And her own life has been on the line. Days before the 2004 presidential election—when her husband John was running for vice president—she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After rounds of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation the cancer went away—only to reoccur in 2007. While on the campaign trail, Elizabeth met many others who have had to contend with serious adversity in their lives, and in Resilience, she draws on their experiences as well as her own, crafting an unsentimental and ultimately inspirational meditation on the gifts we can find among life’s biggest challenges. This short, powerful, pocket-sized inspirational book makes an ideal gift for anyone dealing with difficulties in their life, who can find peace in knowing they are not alone, and promise that things can get better."

Taryn's Review: I really admire Elizabeth Edwards. Recently, I heard an interview on the radio in which Elizabeth Edwards said that if her husband did, in fact, father the child of Rielle Hunter (his mistress), then he needed to step up and be a father. She was quoted as saying, "Every child needs their father." Wow. I was blown away by this attitude of understanding. After hearing the interview, I caught a glimpse of her book on the library shelf and knew I had to read it.

Elizabeth Edwards is an eloquent author. She touched on her life and it was so painful to read at times; I don't know how anyone could survive all the hardships and still have the grace she possessed. The book was not a political commentary at all, but truly focused on Elizabeth's life, both in the past and now.

I could hardly stand to read about the death of her son, Wade. He sounded like an extraordinary young man and the quotes that Elizabeth included from Wade's school essays were quite stunning, especially to have been written by someone who was so young. Only years later, Elizabeth had to endure breast cancer, remission, the return of cancer, and a very private betrayal by her husband which turned public. It was so much hurt and pain for one person.

Yet, Elizabeth was elegant in her attitude on how to deal with the chaos. I can't imagine that I would have the ability, after all that hurt and pain, to deal with the world so beautifully, but Elizabeth gave a genuine, legit attempt.

She did not harp on the details of the affair, which was very appropriate in my opinion. She simply stated her side and a touch of bitterness toward John's mistress does show in the book. But honestly, if that was the worst comment publicly from Elizabeth on the matter, she should be proud of herself. I can't say if I were in her position I would have the dignity to not write horrible things about the woman who engaged in an affair with my spouse!

At times, Elizabeth did overwrite memories, explanations, and repeated some elements too often. In a few sections I felt my attention wane because of this, but overall, it wasn't a huge issue that deterred me from the book. I would really recommend this book. Elizabeth Edwards has endured some horrific obstacles, but she is very admirable in her decision of handing them with grace.

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