When I finished the book, I wanted to start reading it again. It delighted my soul. I laughed and I shed a tear, as I traveled in Eleanor’s shoes through her good days and bad days. It’s a good reading for those who believe in empathy and for those who want to give it a try.
The story touches one of the tabu’s in many societies – a mother’s violence against her own children. And the ensuing guilt of the child who tries not to upset her violent mother, even as an adult, even in her own imagination… And all it takes to overcome it – friends, a cat, a good boss and permission to say “enough is enough”.
My favorite line I’ll take with me: “It was such a strange unusual feeling – light, calm, as though I’d swallowed sunshine.”
“A book is a match in the smoking second between strike and flame” – a marvelous opening line. One can say the same about the human life on Earth.
“Lost for words » is a story of a long path to self-love and empathy. Loveday – the name of the main character – moves in the blink of an eye from a carefree childhood into the world of a child in foster care, as a result of domestic violence.
The story line is nonlinear and the flashbacks are moving as they are narrated through the eyes of a 10 year old caught in a family drama, which keeps reverberating in her adult’s life through the choices she makes. The story ends a bit abruptly to my taste, as if letting you wonder about what’s next. There is a charm in that, I think.
Did you ever hear about “wakaresaseya”? It is a business in Japan which delivers broken marriages and divorces through agents who play the lover to elicit “evidence” of adultery. In short, they are breaker-uppers. People with pecuniary interests and/or desire to keep the child often make recourse to such services. This novel is inspired by a real murder trial in Tokyo in 2010.
« What’s left of me is yours » is a story told through the eyes of a child caught in the middle of this adults’ game. It is also a story of a woman who was pulled in the game by her bitter and broken husband. It is the story of the agent who fell in love with his target and their mutual love. It is the story of a man who had to become a father again when his grandchild lost her mother in this cruel manipulation. It is a story of choices between getting stuck in revenge and building a future, hide away or embrace humanity.
I loved Scott’s beautiful writing style. It made me witness events, feel the emotions of characters, smell the ocean and hear the sounds of places where it took me.
This is one of the books I find to be appealing to different audiences in the same clear and friendly language. If you are looking for advice on your online and social media presence, this is the book. Equally, if you work in a more and more virtual working environment, this is the book.
I wrote about my take aways for the working environment on myprojectdelight.com. Here are my take aways for the online social media presence.
“Writing is hard; few of us do it well.” Our modern world requires all of us to become writers.
“Good writing also has authenticity, consistency, transparency, empathy, and connection.”
“In the virtual world, good storytelling is even more important”. Learn from the best and do not frown at hashtags. The shortest story ever belongs to Hemingway. His bet started inadvertently a flash-fiction game that has gone on to this day: six-word stories.
I found an abundance of great advice and tools here: empathy quiz, advice on basic online hygienic package, how to create and manage your online persona, and where to get started, etc.
And a call for action: “We need to reclaim our lost humanity on the web. We need to restore the emotions that all too many of the digital conveniences of the modern world have silently and unthinkingly taken away.”
People often tell Regina Brett how great she looks for her age. Turns out, she is actually 54 years old — not 90. She wrote down these life lessons the night before her 45th birthday after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Over that past decade, these lessons have gone viral on the Internet amid claims that she is 90 years old. Luckily, she finds humor in this misrepresentation, knowing how many lives she has touched.
Whatever her age might be, these universal lessons are relatable to anyone who needs a little reminder of what’s important in life.
Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
When in doubt, just take the next small step.
Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
Pay off your credit cards every month.
You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.
When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
Overprepare, then go with the flow.
Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
The most important sex organ is the brain.
No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
Forgive everyone everything.
What other people think of you is none of your business.
Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
Believe in miracles.
Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
The best is yet to come.
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.
If you want more inspiration from Regina Brett, check out her personal website!
I love to collect women’s stories. Some are full of lessons to take away. Some are just things to notice. Some are with no particular messages, just part and parcel of life. Some may be subjects for novels. Some are life novels.
His kiss undressed her, without his hands touching her. His soft lips made a silent promise of eternal happiness together. He had to leave. A trip back home, far away in Philippine. From the seventh floor of the students’ dormitory her eyes caressed his arms opening the door of his departing taxi, in Strasbourg, France. Weeks later, when she was also back home, she received a letter from him: seven lines of love telling her he was getting married in few weeks to the one he knew since childhood… Years later, she learned that his human rights activism has costed him his life.
She saw him years later, in an airport. He showed her the picture of his wife and newborn baby boy. Years back she was his student, who, incipidiosly, found herself in his bed, for a few seconds only, just very close to an adultery line for him. Years later after their encounter in that airport, she learned from common acquaintances that he had cancer. She had mixed feelings: happy that she has not crossed that line and very sad for his wife, the support of whom he now sought and needed most.
She saw him again years later. He was with his wife and child. His wife was wearing a red dress on a casual Friday night, sending other women the message that she is in control and still keeps his attention unaltered by other female vibes… She almost fell for him years back, when he just got married to the proud owner of the red dress. What stopped her was that she saw no difference: she had a married man at home. She was candidly happy for his wife, for she managed to keep him by her side and she looked proud of it.