4 out of 4 stars
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Imagine from your very first memory, at a very young age feeling as if you're different than everyone, that you don't belong. What could cause a child to feel that way? Such is the case of David B. Bohl, author of Parallel Universes: The Story of Rebirth. David was adopted when he was seven days old by a loving couple who gave him a stable and loving home. So why did he feel like he didn't belong? It was like he was living in parallel universes, one with his family and friends and the other with his inner self, feeling like something was wrong with him.
David knew from a very young age he was adopted. However, In his mind, he believed he was 'relinquished' because something was wrong with him. At the age of six, he told some friends he was adopted. Their reaction was shock and disbelief, and from that point on, they avoided him. Their response convinced him he was right; there was something wrong with him. He struggled with the shame of being 'relinquished.' He pretended to be okay on the outside, while inside, he was in turmoil. He began drinking when he was thirteen because that's what his friends were doing, and when David drank, he felt accepted. By the time David was a young adult, he had a high powered job with the stock exchange, married his childhood sweetheart, had two beautiful children, and was a wealthy man. On the outside, it seemed he had it all. However, on the inside, his feelings of shame were stronger than any of those things. He turned more and more to alcohol to dull the inner pain. How long could he continue to live in his parallel universes? Would he destroy it all with his alcohol abuse and his deeply seeded shame?
As the author pens his story to paper, the reader can feel his inner turmoil. He tells his story openly and matter-of-factly with honesty and transparency. His writing style is unique yet relatable. He uses many one-word sentences and always capitalizes 'shame' for emphasis on his feelings. As I read David's story, I could sense his vulnerability and pain. I could feel his turmoil as he struggled with the inner and outer man, the parallel universes of his life. He had very little information about his biological parents until he was in his forties. His mother was a twenty-one-year-old college student who went through his birth alone in a home for unwed mothers. She died of alcoholism at the age of fifty-six. His father, who would never acknowledge that he was the father, died of a brain tumor.
I love the author's courage in telling his story. This book touched my heart deeply. How young is too young to feel disconnected from everyone else because of the circumstances of your beginning? Can feelings of rejection and not belonging begin in infancy as some research suggests? And, can one ever get over those feelings? Being raised as an agnostic, David still searched for a 'higher power.' He prayed and searched for God but never came to believe that God exists. His conclusion was 'reality' is his 'higher power.' The only thing I disliked about this book was the profanity; however, it was not excessive. I was mesmerized from the beginning to the end. I will leave the ending for the reader to discover how things turn out for David. However, I will say David's story will remain with the reader long after they read the last page and close the book.
The book is very well edited, with only a few errors, mostly related to wording, such as leaving a word out of a sentence or repeating a word twice. I did not notice any actual punctuation errors. I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with alcoholism personally or in their family. I also recommend it to the average reader who enjoys memoirs. I rate Parallel Universes by David B. Bohl 4 out of 4 stars not only for the content and the editing, but also for the inspiration I received from reading this powerful book.
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