Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: Find the Good by Heather Lende

It's so easy to focus on the negative. I can stew for a long time about someone cutting me off in traffic. I walk off the tennis court replaying my errors. I let unkind comments fester. And I know I'm not alone in this. But what if we chose to focus on happiness and the gifts that everyone in our lives brings to the table instead of dwelling on the negative?  What if, as the title of Heather Lende's lovely new book suggests, we Find the Good?  It won't change my traffic situation or improve my tennis game, but it sure might make me a more positive, contented person.

Life is lived in the dash between the dates on our headstone and until that last date is engraved, we can always change the story in between. Lende is the obituary writer in her small Alaskan fishing village. Often she knows the people she's writing about very well so it's heartbreakingly easy for her to find the good in someone's life as she goes about the business of distilling a life to the space allotted in the paper. Each short chapter is packed with wisdom gleaned from the life of someone who has died. And the brief slice of their life that Lende captures is wonderful, giving a real sense of the person. There is humor here and there are unexpected revelations. Lende shares a bit of her own family's challenges and the life-affirming way that she decided to face them. And as she does, she reminds us all that how we face each thing in our life is in fact a decision. We can dwell or we can celebrate and celebrating is infinitely more fun. It is a quick and welcoming read, one that is easy to dip in and out of when you need to be reminded about all the positives in life thanks to its vignette style essays. Heartwarming, simple, and direct, this is a gorgeous little book with a beautiful message that will leave you smiling as you close the cover. If you're looking for the good, you'll certainly find a lot of it here.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of the book for review.

1 comment:

  1. Kristen, just the thing I need! Have ordered it from the library. Cheers from carole's chatter


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