In this collection of previously published opinion columns, Sugarman shares her gently humorous, inspirational musings about life.
“I’ve got an incredibly long stream of consciousness with endless opinions on everything from life and parenting to relationships and health and everything in between,” says Sugarman in this compendium of her “It Is What It Is” columns, originally published in the Marblehead Reporter, a Massachusetts regional newspaper. In short essays averaging about 1,000 words each, she explores general-interest topics with a wry but mostly upbeat tone, often emphasizing the importance of adopting a positive, compassionate view of life. “Walk a While in Someone Else’s Cast” is typical of her approach: She grouses about the inconvenience of being in a boot cast for several weeks and makes a joke about her husband, Dave, serving as her “cabana boy,” and finally urges readers to appreciate their own mobility and what they have in life. Sugarman addresses seasonal and holiday themes several times, extolling the virtues of spring cleaning and encouraging folks to stick to New Year’s resolutions, for example. Some darkness peeks through, on occasion; “Where have all the Good People Gone?” expresses her anger and sadness that no one stopped to help her teenage daughter’s friend, who suffered an injury while running. “An Ode to Mister Rogers,” however, is a more representative piece; in it, she expresses her affinity with genial TV icon Fred Rogers and shows the value of regular routines and being nice. None of the author’s riffs are unique or earth-shattering, as many bloggers currently cover similar turf, and her attempt to make her hometown of Marblehead, Mass., a “character” in this collection isn’t fully successful. That said, Sugarman is a professional, accomplished writer, and her easy-to-read essays should prove smoothly satisfying to general readers.
Appealing, embracing essays about everyday life.