This debut collection of poetry and prose delves into the power of change.
Best has experienced a life full of challenges. He was a pensive child, he writes, who was confronted with his parents’ separation at the age of 10. His youth also included several moves to different places around the country, each bringing unexpected changes, and in his early 20s, he experienced the death of his brother, his marriage to his first wife, the birth of his daughter, and a divorce. Over the next several years, he moved among several different states and shifted through a variety of careers, including tennis instruction and desktop publishing. As he tells his stories, his tone is always optimistic, focusing on the ways each of these moments changed him for the better. He ends each story with a phrase that encompasses the theme of the book: “All, every change without exception, leads you to growth, transformation and becoming who you truly are.” Best is certainly qualified to write a book centered on the concept of transformative events, considering the range of such experiences he’s had throughout his life, and many readers will find his anecdotes to be relatable. One of his most effective literary tools is his use of direct questions, which immediately shift the spotlight from himself to his readers and encourage personal reflection. The poetry, which also includes song lyrics, isn’t as eloquent as the prose, but the way that Best intersperses it throughout gives the book a consistent thematic flow. Not everyone will agree with the book’s moments of moral relativism (“There is no good or bad, only what is”), but the idea of learning from difficult moments, instead of resisting them, is a noteworthy one that may enlighten and inspire many.
A thoughtful book that shares the lessons of an eventful life.