A basically rosy look at those pivotal events that change the course of one's life, and how to turn even the most dire into an opportunity for personal growth. The Lauers ('Til Death Do Us Part, 1986) base much of this book on their survey of 632 people who described for them a major life-changing experience and its effects. Few of the respondents report downers: warped by parental incest as a child, one woman does constantly denigrate herself and worries that her unstable emotions may turn her into an abuser of her own children. But even a crippling accident or a serious illness can have a silver lining: over 85% of respondents citing these as a major turning point ""also identified positive effects."" The examples are frequently so nebulous that one wonders how much pain was ignored. For example, disabled by illness, a young executive loses his job and is replaced by a competent woman; he sheds his chauvinism and his marriage improves. Or, realizing life is finite after a serious car accident, a young woman gives up her boring job to pursue the acting career she had been postponing until the time was ripe. Unsurprisingly, everyone who moved to a new neighborhood ultimately learned to love it, and the birth of children was almost universally considered a plus. The Lauers trumpet the message that dire as well as serendipitous events can be life-enchancing if handled positively. After all, they present well over 100 mostly upbeat case histories to prove their point.