4 out of 4 stars
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A Glimpse at Gurus in Our Midst in Rob White’s And then I Met Margaret
Nothing is more comforting than coming across a book replete with wisdom, and timeless teachings, without the burden of being preachy. Rob White’s manner of writing takes us on a thoughtful and thought-provoking ride into life’s richness and hidden surprises in his book And then I Met Margaret by taking his readers on an enriching journey into ordinary men and women who turned out to be gurus in our midst. That life offers many and varied opportunities for lessons and learning is simply what Rob White instills in his insightful and honest rendition of this semi-auto-biographical literary masterpiece.
Auto-biographical in nature, And then I Met Margaret, begins right at the heart of the author’s small mill town “with its own set of unwritten rules that reflect the fabric of its culture, its code of honor, its values and mores, and its expectations for future generation.” The straightforward manner he uses to describe the town he grew up in, sans the sentimental note, captures the local color particularly in his fascination with cards and his portrayal of Aunt Theresa, the quintessential image of everybody’s doting, spinster aunt with a sad, hidden tale of lost love. From the words the author used to the languidness of his storytelling and the unfolding of his ordinarily extraordinary gurus, Rob White weaves an intricate fusion of form and content reflective of a literary masterpiece.
The title in itself poses an intriguing puzzle as it could lead the prospective reader into looking forward to a rather whimsical and sentimentally crafted extraordinary romantic story of either a doomed love affair or the triumph of young love. At most, on the outset, such would be the initial reaction to the title. But, once the reader has connected with Rob White’s text, one would be in for such an exhilarating and transformative surprise! Margaret may not be the classic portrayal of the one true love, but it is she – “a grade school student in her pretty red dress,” that “awakened the possibility of starting a new life” by making the author aware that another “universe” exists beyond his own. In a way, Margaret can be considered as the heroine among all the gurus in Rob White’s life as it is she who awakened in the author the zest for appreciating the presence of the other ordinary men and women who serve his purpose and contributed to his success.
Rob White’s storytelling is reminiscent of Og Mandino without the trace of the historical, Paolo Coehlo minus the mystical, and the candid stories of Canfield and Hansen’s Chicken Soup for the Soul. Indeed, the most wonderful stories are culled from life’s ordinary moments – if only we can be as open and accepting to the “unexpected teachers and gurus” in our life and allow the story of their presence to “disrupt an old pattern of thinking,” or destroy an old “myth” altogether.
The impossible becomes the probable when we open our eyes to the
transformative power of other’s presence in our lives – this reality from Rob White’s book is what holds the reader fastened to the inspiring words as each story of an unlikely guru unfolds. And then I Met Margaret is definitely Rob White’s tour de force as it pushes the readers to take stock of what really matters most. As Swami Charles so succinctly explained in the last chapter, “We are all part of the infinite, which is infinitely, perfect.” Rob White’ s book, And then I Met Margaret, holds infinite possibilities to its readers, which makes it 4 out of 4 stars – making it, infinitely perfect!
And Then I Met Margaret
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