3 out of 4 stars
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And Then I Met Margaret is a self-help and motivational book by Rob White. It follows Rob’s life starting from his childhood in a small town to being a successful real estate entrepreneur and restaurateur. Rob recounts his personal encounters with people and situations and the ways in which he learnt to better navigate through life.
The book follows the idea that we come across many unacknowledged teachers in daily life whose impact on our lives is manifold. We may all have come across such people, whom Rob refers to as “Gurus”, but we may not all recognize them. These gurus inspire you in the most unimaginable ways. Sometimes they show us the world from a different perspective and shatter our self-imposed limitations and sometimes they lead us to personal and spiritual revelations.
To keep in sync with this, the writer adopted a before-after story format. Each chapter starts with a myth that the author had always assumed to be true and ends with the reality which the author has realized upon his experience with the guru whose story has been shared in that particular chapter. This format of the book kept me apprised of what to expect and the belief that was being challenged.
Rob’s childhood narratives of growing up in a small town, of steering away from the traditional lifestyle and the college anecdotes resonated with me quite a lot. One such anecdote was depicted in the chapter named 'Shakespeare in My Left Pants Pocket'. It is a heart-warming story about how unexpected actions from people in grave situations can help change the very core of one’s behavior. Another such story is ‘I Decided I Was Smarter Than I Thought I Was’ where an encounter with a young student named Debbie inspired Rob to follow his dream. The 'reality' highlighted in this chapter is one I intend to apply in my own life.
That said, I did think that some of the realities that the writer puts forth are quite ordinary and not as ground breaking as the writer made it out to be. One such story was that of Margaret. Had the book been named after one of his other gurus, it would have been more accurate compared to the effect that they had on his life (for example, Debbie). In the introduction of the book, the writer mentions that we will meet to Margaret in Chapter 12. However, Margaret’s story appears in Chapter 18.
Despite not being a fan of self-help books, I decided to give And Then I Met Margaret a shot. The idea that we come across many unlikely gurus who help broaden our outlook on life seemed quite interesting to me. While some of the stories seem uninspiring and unimpressive,there are some personal anecdotes that keep the book fresh and provide insight. The casual tone of the writing and the short chapters make it an easy read.
For the above mentioned reasons, I give this book 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend this book to anyone looking for an enjoyable and lighthearted read, especially someone new to this genre. As for avid readers of motivational books, this might not be up to the mark.
And Then I Met Margaret
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