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Nancy C. (Overland Park,
The Possibility of Everything
The Possibility of Everything by Hope Edelman. As a memorist Ms. Edelman has accomplished what every memorist hopes for: to be able to surrender fear and be willing to reveal one's inner truth, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Having said that it is fair to say that this book is a much as a travelogue with Belize as the subject. The main purpose of the journey, to help daughter Maya seems to take second place. Ms. Edelman does give insight into what is ultimately important to ordinary people and about how we are healed through a quest.
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.
C H. (Wauwatosa, WI)
More like a travelogue
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.
I enjoy Hope Edelman's writing style and based on the title and book description was looking forward to her views on the "leap of faith" that transformed her life. For me, that is where the book was lacking. What I wanted and what kept me reading was for her to tell more about her experience in the Belize jungle with her daughter and the healers that changed life for them. I wanted to be in her head with her thoughts and emotions, but that is where I felt the book fell flat and became more of a description of their travels and less of their experiences.
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.
Julie Z. (Bennington, VT)
The Possibility of a Little Less than Everything, please?
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.
I haven't read the author's previous books, but it's not hard to guess her primary focus. Here's four other titles listed in this book: Motherless Daughters, Letters from Motherless Daughters, Mother of My Mother, Motherless Mothers.
Kathy S. (DeFOrest, WI)
Everything is Possible!
It comes as no surprise that Edelman comes across as a wee bit obsessive and humorless in this memoir. Her then only daughter, Maya, is three, and seems to be having her terrible twos late; and her husband is working many overtime hours. Maya's tantrums and her imaginary "friend", Dodo, prove to be more than her mother can cope with. Despite re-assurance from the child's pediatrician, seconded by a family friend/therapist, that Maya's behavior is normal, that she'll outgrow it, Edelman and her husband shlep her down Belize, hoping to take her to a healer, while having a family holiday.
Yeah, great idea, you're thinking, especially since she's running a fever, coughing, and Edelman's booked a passage on a marginal third world airline. Don't worry, you won't miss a single beat of this trip, it's so slow, you'll feel like it's happening in real time. By page 200, we'd only gotten to day five of the trip. It's not just that every whine and whimper of the child is described, Edelman tries to provide a little history of the Maya, but it's just not that interesting--it feels like she's filling in the space.
It's hard to care that much about this family. The reader doesn't dislike them, just wants them to relax--come on, it's hardly a serious, life threatening illness we're dealing with here. It seems that Edelman copes with Maya's misbehavior by standing back in awe while she quietly falls apart inside. How about a little discipline here? And she seems to be over-reacting to the imaginary friend. As my mother would say, she won't be bringing him to college.
I would not recommend this book. There are better parenting memoirs, better travel writing, and better books that combine the two.
Great compelling book! The author did a wonderful job expressing her feelings and beliefs, while letting the reader continue to have their own. I was convinced at the end...every type of belief is possible!
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.