The faithful may see an inspiring story of the happy life and untimely death of a little girl whose father will always love...

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LOVED BY AN "ANGEL"

THE STORY OF A 9 YEAR OLDS LIFELONG BATTLE WITH CANCER, BUT NEVER HER FAITH!

A father’s loving tribute to his angelic daughter who succumbs to brain cancer.

Beaucher details his daughter’s fatal journey from her diagnosis with medulloblastoma at age 2 and a half to her death two months after her ninth birthday. The book is as much a journal of Beaucher’s feelings as it is a chronicle of his daughter’s illness, as much his story as hers. He describes Kristin’s initial symptoms, diagnosis and treatment; the five and a half good years between her remission and relapse; and the last five months after the first signs of the cancer’s return. Beaucher’s voice makes the story feel more like a listen than a read, and his vulnerability and concern for his daughter lend pathos to the narrative. He wrote the book “to show people what she accomplished and how she did it. With the gaze of her eyes, the soft touch of her hand, the soothing sound of her voice, and sometimes not saying a word at all, she changed the outcome of people’s lives…I would say that it was pretty miraculous, don’t you think?” An overabundance of individual thank-you’s litters many of the chapters, and the coverage of events is inconsistent. Beaucher spends a chapter describing how he gets a tattoo of Kristin (a sign from God gave him the go-ahead), but he tucks away in the epilogue a brief mention of his decision to get a divorce from Kristin’s mother and spends little time relating how that affected Kristin, except to say that her prayers brought them back together. Devout readers may gain inspiration in Kristin’s tale, others may tire of Beaucher’s Pollyannaism. But the author never wavers in depicting his daughter as he saw her. “She was perfect in every way, shape, and form…Kristin was the most amazing person I knew.”

The faithful may see an inspiring story of the happy life and untimely death of a little girl whose father will always love her; others will find an overlong fairy tale sadly lacking its happily ever after.

Pub Date: July 27, 2010

ISBN: 978-1452045986

Page Count: 268

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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