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November 07, 2010


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The book sounds like a great read (but not necessarily an easy one, unfortunately).

Anyway, I have a friend who, while growing up, was severely beaten by her father. He would put her on the scale and if she gained so much as a pound, he'd react angrily. At 14 she suffered three broken ribs as a result.

It would have been easy for her to fall into a life of despair and turn to unhealthy habits. She actually got pregnant at a very young age (17) and the father left when she was about five months pregnant. To make a long story short, she decided to move to a far away community determined to bring up her child in a healthy environment. She's a single mom with two healthy boys, and luckily, she never did fall into a negative lifestyle. Plus, her determination has helped her push herself into becoming self-employed and owning her own home.

She's my hero.


After reading your book review and then Carole's comment, I sit here in awe of my blessings now and nearly ashamed that I ever complained about my childhood (imperfect though it was).

I wanted to let you know that I've passed on my gift copy of "The Paranoid Parents Guide: Worry Less, Parent Better and Raise a Resilient Child" to our youth pastor. She is not only a wonderful resource on parenting teens, but she is also a mother to 2 young children. When I told her about the book, she was very interested, so I gave it to her.
Books: the gift that keeps on giving! :)

Naomi B.

My mom has a new lease on life. A little over 4 years ago she had a liver and kidney transplant. She had to get ready to say goodbye and still maintain hope for a donor.
She will be meeting her donor's family this month on what would have been his 21st birthday. She has had to go through all of the feelings of being happy to be alive and devastated that she was able to live because someone else's life was cut short. She feels more healthy than she ever has and is championing for other people who are facing going through what she has gone through.


My very best friend is a sexual/physical assault survivor. She has not let the past abuse stop her (unlike her sisters) from being a productive member of society. And, while I'm sure that she would have preferred to have a different childhood, she is a strong, beautiful person inside and out.

apathy lounge

As a former book reviewer, I completely understand what you're trying to say about liking a book with so much tragedy in it. This sounds like something I would love to read...if I had the time to do that any more. I'm definitely putting it on my "to find" list. Thanks.

Life As I Know It

I had a childhood friend who had a pretty rough upbringing. Her mom dies when she was 7, and things got worse from there...somehow she got herself through high school, put herself through college, married a wonderful (stable!) guy and has two lovely children, and has a successful career.
I tend to think in some cases that there is more to 'nature' than 'nurture'.
A lot of people would have been doomed by a rough start in life.

Susan Walker/BabyFavorite

My mother was the epitome of resilience. She had rheumatic fever in 1928 and had such severe damage to her heart valve that she wasn't supposed to live past the age of 6. Somehow, she did, but she had to attend schools for the handicapped. Many of her classmates died of the terrible things that we now, fortunately, have immunizations for. She lived through the Great Depression, an alcoholic father, and moving with her mother & sister to California at the age of 18 to start a new life (foregoing a full scholarship to the University of Minnesota after graduating high school with a 3.98 GPA). She & my dad married in 1945 while he was in the Navy. She had my sister at 25, a full-term stillborn baby at 27 (due to a gangrene appendix during pregnancy), my brother Paul at 27, and then suffered horrible gallbladder attacks while he was an infant. She got down to 85 lbs. before having her gallbladder removed, all the while caring for my sister while SHE was sick for 6 weeks with rheumatic fever as well (on a bedpan on the couch, no less) along with a newborn baby. She had my brother Mark at 36 and watched him go through a craniotomy at 4 years old and then multiple brain surgeries for hydrocephalus for many years following. She became unexpectedly pregnant with me at 44 while she was teaching Mark to walk again (after being hospitalized for several months). She & my dad had to sell their home to pay medical bills when I was 3. For years after, she endured my dad's constant unemployment and mood swings, my sister's mental illness and drug addiction, and being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 63. She underwent a radical mastectomy and chemo. During that time she lost her brother-in-law to lung cancer and her his wife, her only sibling and closest friend, to strokes. (She & my uncle weren't even 60 years old yet.) Immediately following, she found out the cancer had spread to her lungs. More chemo and radiation to endure. A month later, my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. A year later, he died. A few years after that, my brother Paul sustained a traumatic brain injury that left him severely disabled. Two years later, my sister took her own life due to drugs and bi-polar disorder. Throughout that, my mother dealt with my mentally ill brother Mark (Schizophrenia) who lived with her while she endured rheumatoid arthritis, mini strokes (and carotid artery surgery), glaucoma and cataracts (and surgery), emphysema, and congestive heart failure. And during those years, she made bi-weekly, 360-mile-round-trips with me to visit my brother Paul in his neuro care home. And throughout it all? She was amazingly calm, patient, optimistic, caring, selfless and virtually NEVER complained. Oh, and she was funny as heck, too! At 78 years old, shortly before she died, her favorite t.v. shows were Friends and Seinfeld. All in all, she had an awesome sense of humor and was an absolutely beautiful human being. I've decided that if I can be even half the woman she was, I will have succeeded in this life.

Susan Walker/BabyFavorite

I just saw that I won the Stilettos book! I am so excited! Thank you so much, Jenn!


I love books like this! I just recommended my local library purchase it, but I don't know if I can wait that long. I loved The Glass Castle, and this sounds like a similar triumph over a tragic childhood. Thanks for the tip!


Repairing Rainbows sounds like an incredible and very inspirational read. I actually went to the same school as Lynda and her sisters in Montreal and I knew Carla but after the terrible tragedy, I never knew what happened to Lynda. I can't even imagine what Lynda went through, emotionally, to survive this horrific traumatic loss at the most fragile time in a girl's life, and then to share her story. I applaud and thank Lynda for her immeasurable courage and determination. I am now re-reading a book by another heroic survivor, The Fifth Diamond by Irene Zisblatt and I plan to make Repairing Rainbows my next read.


Wow Jill! I just read about The Fifth Diamond and it sounds like quite an amazing story. I especially like the meaning behind the book's title. I'll have to pick it up to read. Thank you for sharing.


Appreciation for a reading experience trumps "liking" a book any day. Well noted.


I loved the Glass Castle, also. No details here, but yeah...I appreciate the value of resilience.


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