4 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever been driving behind a construction crew that is methodically laying down the white dashed lines on a newly paved road? Up until that moment you probably barely gave a glance to those tiny marks and just took them for granted. They discreetly do their job of keeping you safe on your side of the road out of harm's way as you travel in the direction you need to go. Without those lines of demarcation, our roadways would be hazardous and chaotic. How can something so small and nearly unnoticeable have such a powerful impact on our society?
This is the subject that Rob White brings to the forefront in his book And Then I Met Margaret. He writes about seemingly insignificant people and events in his life that changed his thinking for the better. The book begins with a heartfelt story of his Aunt Theresa who taught him valuable lessons over multiple games of Old Maid during his childhood. From there, each chapter accentuates either a person or an incident that helped him embrace a new perspective that left him wiser and often more compassionate.
The tone of this book is rather calming. We live in a world where we are taught that if we don't rush ahead, and if we don't adhere to a fast pace we will miss out on all that is important. This piece of literature gives us the permission to slow down and become aware of the helpful messengers and messages that are surrounding us continually. The emphasis of the writing is that simplicity is where you will find great meaning for your life. Through his chapters of storytelling, he encourages readers to pay attention not only to the quiet advice of those around us but also to listen attentively to the small inner voice that often is instructing and warning during times of decision making.
I found the most enjoyable aspect of this book to be the myth that he would state at the beginning of the chapter. For example, in Chapter 4 he writes: "Learn to fit in; play it safe-it's right and proper." The writing that follows is about how he had to confront an authority figure and stand his ground on an issue where he knew he was right. At the time he was a child, so to do this took a lot of courage to adhere to what he believed. In the end, he prevailed, and the situation went in his favor. At the conclusion of the story, he states: "Be true to thyself-It's always right and beautiful." This is the core theme of the entire book where the author displays how he transitioned his thinking that seemed so concrete to a new understanding.
I could not find one negative drawback about this book. There are no grammar or editing issues that I noted. I think most people who enjoy true life stories would find themselves laughing at some of the narratives and the next minute grabbing the tissue box to wipe away tears. For those who don't like non-fiction this probably would not be their choice for reading. For its superior way of being relatable and at the same time awakening readers to a higher level of awareness, I give this positive and encouraging book a 4 out of 4 stars.
And Then I Met Margaret
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