A split-focus but readable account of learning and growing in the midst of life’s changes.

READ REVIEW

THE FIVE LAWS OF LOVE

ENRICHING THE LOVE WITHIN

A hybrid work combines a tale about a girl sold into slavery and an account of a young woman— the author—who becomes a physician.

This sequel from Moore (Between Two Minds, 2012) sets up an intertwined pair of narratives, one fiction and the other nonfiction. The nonfiction storyline involves the author herself and relates her life story, from growing up in various places—including Lincoln, Nebraska, and Montgomery, Alabama—to getting married, having children, and attending medical school. The fictional narrative tells the tale of a young Hopi girl named Talking Bird and her brother, Little Fox, who are kidnapped by Mexican slave traders and befriended by a kindly Franciscan called Padre Diego. The two are given Christian names—Rosita and Carlitos—and they are eventually sold to a wealthy pueblo merchant. Along the way, the siblings encounter many people telling them wondrous stories of many faiths, including a well-traveled missionary named Padre Bachelot (who explains the spiritual beliefs of the natives of Hawaii) and, much later, a man who informs an older, married Rosa about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this work, Moore does two things equally well. Through the experiences of Rosa, she crafts a detailed historical-novel-within-a-memoir about the early settler history of California and the events of the character’s life there. And the author uses her own story to illustrate lessons she’s learned in a career of practicing medicine and thinking about life. Some of these lessons are debatable, as when she asserts that “the deepest, most harmful war is within our own minds.” But others, although commonplace, are worth remembering: “Change is often scary, but change is part of life and necessary for growth.” The dual narrative choice can often be distracting because the work does only the thinnest of jobs connecting the two. But each separate thread is intriguing on its own merits, and both share an open-minded attitude toward the twists and turns of fate.

A split-focus but readable account of learning and growing in the midst of life’s changes.

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-982213-48-0

Page Count: 280

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 15

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

Did you like this book?

more