The Possibility of Everything Summary and Reviews

The Possibility of Everything

by Hope Edelman

The Possibility of Everything
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2009
    352 pages
    Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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Book Summary

From the bestselling author of Motherless Daughters, here is the real-life story of one woman's search for a cure to her family's escalating troubles, and the leap of faith that took her on a journey to an exotic place and a new state of mind.

In the autumn of 2000, Hope Edelman was a woman adrift, questioning her marriage, her profession, and her place in the larger world. Feeling vulnerable and isolated, she was primed for change. Into her stagnant routine dropped Dodo, her three-year-old daughter Maya's curiously disruptive imaginary friend. Confused and worried about how to handle Dodo's apparent hold on their daughter, Edelman and her husband made the unlikely choice to take her to Maya healers in Belize, hoping that a shaman might help them banish Dodo – and, as they came to understand, all he represented – from their lives.

An account of how an otherwise mainstream mother and wife finds herself making an extremely unorthodox choice, The Possibility of Everything chronicles the magical week in Central America that transformed Edelman from a person whose past had led her to believe only in the visible and the "proven" to someone open to the idea of larger, unseen forces. This deeply affecting, beautifully written memoir of a family's emotional journey explores what Edelman and her husband went looking for in the jungle and what they ultimately discovered – as parents, as spouses, and as ordinary people – about the things that possess and destroy, or that can heal us all.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The book is equal parts a meditation on the trials of motherhood and marriage, a travelogue and an exploration of faith, which she braids together into a highly readable, insight-laden narrative." - Publishers Weekly

"Though Edelman is an accomplished, mostly insightful writer, the narrative is overly dependent on descriptions of her child's increasingly dramatic temper tantrums." - Kirkus Reviews

On a family trip to Belize, Hope Edelman confronts the very heart of darkness only to be ambushed by the healing hope of things unseen. Edelman writes like a dream and like a dreamer, with a novelist's rhythm and a journalist's unsparing eye. The Possibility of Everything kept me gasping and turning pages, awed by Edelman's unwillingness to compromise the truth. This book makes everything seem possible - except putting it down. - Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean

The information about The Possibility of Everything shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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Dolena W. (Dallas, TX)

The possibility of the unexplainable
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was moved by the author’s transformation by events that unfolded on a family vacation to Guatemala and Belize. I felt I was actually there with the author and her family (husband Uzi and 3 year old daughter Maya) as they together (more or less) experienced that which cannot be seen and cannot be explained.

I ended up pulling out my yellow highlight to mark those conversations that “pitted” the author (“I have to see to believe”) against her more accepting husband (“You need to have more trust….In the universe”). The author’s difficult struggle to move beyond what she describes as “the sacred triad of observation, experimentation, and proof” is beautifully written. Out of the mystery of the setting of Mayan temples, exotic plants, Shamans and ancient practices of spiritual healing comes the author’s moving revelation that, if we but move out of the way, we can come to believe and accept the presence of “subtler levels of reality” that we cannot see or quantify. If we open ourselves to the possibility of subtler levels of reality, then anything is possible.

This memoir is joyful, humorous and definitely thought provoking.

Pam C. (Lafayette, CA)

A memoir to Remember!
This book is aptly titled. Not sure what is causing her child's odd behavior but certain that it is something out of the ordinary, Hope Edelman begins looking for an answer. Her search ends in Central America where she also finds answers to other questions in her life. Loved it!

Julie B. (Menomonee Falls, WI)

A Beautiful Journey
This book describes a mother's journey from doubt and fear to being open to the potential and promise of things yet unexplored.

The story takes the reader on another journey through Belize. The author helps the reader to really feel the beauty of the land and it's people.

I am normally not a fan of non-fiction, but I have recommended this book to a number of people. I found some of the author's insights to be so profound that I have been quoting this book ever since I finished it.

Kay B. (Lake Jackson, TX)

The Possibility of Everything, A Memoir by Hope Edelman
I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend this book especially to mothers who will identify with Hope’s feelings and actions regarding her three year old daughter’s illness and behavioral issues. I found myself second-guessing the author as she employed different strategies to cope with and resolve her daughter's issues and yet knew that it's impossible to walk in another mother's shoes. Hope's descriptions of her family's trip to Belize and of the Mayan culture are also very enjoyable and enlightening, especially for those who enjoy travel and learning of other cultures, both past and present.

Beth C. (Sioux Falls, SD)

The Possibility of Everything: A Memoir
Taking a family vacation - two parents and a three-year-old to Belize in order to reconnect seemed like a great idea to Hope Edelman and her husband Uzi. The fact that their daughter, Maya, was exhibiting unusual behavior, including an imaginary friend that encouraged bad behavior, only added small complications to this holiday trip.

This was the start to Edelman's newest memoir - a delightful book that chronicles their trip into both Guatemala and Belize. It is also a testimony to the power of love - particularly the love of mother for daughter, but also the love of wife for husband and husband for his family.

Edelman does a wonderful job describing the people, places, foods and other particulars of the trip. More than that, she lets the reader share in her very real concerns about her daughter's mental health and her own reservations about using alternative healing techniques to alleviate the problem.

I wanted to savor every moment with Hope and her family - even when Maya was behaving incorrigibly. I think readers who like memoirs will love this book as much as I did. It is also an interesting choice for readers of travel books and for those with an interest in alternative medicine and indigenous Central American cultures.

Sharon S. (Stanley, N.C.)

The Possibility of Everything by Hope Edelman
Hope Edelman has written a compelling memoir that takes the reader on a journey to witness a life changing event that takes place in Belize.

Edelman brings you into her thoughts, ideas, fears and finally her heart to see how far a mother will go to protect and heal her precious child.

Faith is the most important attribute one possess, with faith all things are possible just ask Hope Edelman, better yet read "The Possibility of Everything" you will gain a new insight and know there is something greater and larger than all of us. Thank you Hope for reminding me what is important in life!

Keep an open mind you will not be disappointed!

This will be an exceptional read for any book club, in fact my book club is waiting with bated breath for the release of this book!

...9 more reader reviews

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Hope Edelman is the author of five nonfiction books, including the bestsellers Motherless Daughters and Motherless Mothers. A graduate of the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program, she has published articles, essays, and reviews in numerous magazines and anthologies. She lives in Topanga, California, with her husband and two daughters.

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