THE LOUDEST QUIET GIRL

MESSAGES OF HOPE IN A DARK WORLD

An earnest remembrance that will be most appropriate for readers trying to strengthen their religious faith after the death...

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A mother’s memoir on losing her daughter to a tragic car accident.

On December 9, 2013, the author’s only child, Erin Rodriques, was 23 years old, planning her upcoming wedding, and starting a graduate degree program at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. That day, she went missing: She didn’t show up for work at her relatively new job, or come home to her fiance, Josh. Her parents, the author and Abel Rodriques, formed part of a search party, and the next day, Erin was found to have died after her car crashed, upside down, in a local pond. Wedding plans were replaced by funeral plans. What happened, the author says, remains a mystery, but police reported that that the car likely skidded down an icy hill before flipping over. For the next five years, the author researched the details of her daughter’s life, and she offers a sort of scrapbook in this volume, which features plenty of black-and-white photos of Erin and her family members. Erin’s journal writings spoke of her growing Catholic faith, and the author recognized that that she now had to “walk the talk about the afterlife I claimed to have believed in all those years.” The book shows that when someone young dies suddenly, it has great effects on those around them, especially in a tight-knit college community; Erin’s alma mater, Assumption College, created a memorial garden for her. It’s hard not to feel for the author, who writes that she waited a long time to give birth to her only child, and she shows how much she wants the world to know her. Specifically, Rodriques says, she made it her mission to get Erin’s writing about faith into the world, and in that, she is successful. Some of the book’s content will appeal most to people who knew Erin personally. However, anyone who’s lost someone will be able to relate to the author’s search for signs from her deceased daughter.

An earnest remembrance that will be most appropriate for readers trying to strengthen their religious faith after the death of a loved one.

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-72832-369-5

Page Count: 214

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2020

THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS

AND OTHER ESSAYS

This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

THE ART OF SOLITUDE

A very welcome instance of philosophy that can help readers live a good life.

A teacher and scholar of Buddhism offers a formally varied account of the available rewards of solitude.

“As Mother Ayahuasca takes me in her arms, I realize that last night I vomited up my attachment to Buddhism. In passing out, I died. In coming to, I was, so to speak, reborn. I no longer have to fight these battles, I repeat to myself. I am no longer a combatant in the dharma wars. It feels as if the course of my life has shifted onto another vector, like a train shunted off its familiar track onto a new trajectory.” Readers of Batchelor’s previous books (Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World, 2017, etc.) will recognize in this passage the culmination of his decadeslong shift away from the religious commitments of Buddhism toward an ecumenical and homegrown philosophy of life. Writing in a variety of modes—memoir, history, collage, essay, biography, and meditation instruction—the author doesn’t argue for his approach to solitude as much as offer it for contemplation. Essentially, Batchelor implies that if you read what Buddha said here and what Montaigne said there, and if you consider something the author has noticed, and if you reflect on your own experience, you have the possibility to improve the quality of your life. For introspective readers, it’s easy to hear in this approach a direct response to Pascal’s claim that “all of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Batchelor wants to relieve us of this inability by offering his example of how to do just that. “Solitude is an art. Mental training is needed to refine and stabilize it,” he writes. “When you practice solitude, you dedicate yourself to the care of the soul.” Whatever a soul is, the author goes a long way toward soothing it.

A very welcome instance of philosophy that can help readers live a good life.

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-25093-0

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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