4 out of 4 stars
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Imagine you grew up in a small town where everyone had the same future, working for the two factories in town. Pretty boring, right? Someday, a random man gives you the idea of leaving, which is crazy to even consider, but you start thinking about it more and more. That’s how Rob White’s life of lessons begins. He connects with his readers, engaging them in a beautiful story about family, love, career, and success.
And then I met Margaret is a nonfiction motivational book with 21 wonderful chapters. They are all stories from the author’s life in which he learns something. And you learn with him too. That being said, this book is a memoir, portraying the author’s childhood and adult years. He even writes about his parrot, Shakespeare. The reality of the events makes this book have a greater impact on the reader. The chapters start with a fact he believed, for example, “Kindness is an act of self-interest”. At the end of the chapter, he discovers the truth and how he was wrong in his beliefs. Another thing that we receive is how he teaches the lesson to others. First, we see the way he is taught. Then comes an episode in the future where he remembers the lesson, and he shares it with others.
One of the stories I liked the most is the first one, about the author’s aunt. She is an old maid in a small town, which is sad in itself. But she is a wonderful person, full of love and kindness. After many years, Rob finds out things about her that change his perspective about selflessness forever. At his supermarket job, he repays his aunt’s kindness, and that takes him to his right path in life. I hope I’ll meet someone like that. But if I don’t, I can always be someone like that.
The author chose the chapter about Margaret, the youngest of all the gurus, to represent the whole book through its title. From the beginning, you are told you will meet her in Chapter 12, and you simply can’t wait to see, after all these stories, the one who is the most powerful in the author’s life.
Being someone obsessed with my work, I was glad to see that the author made a lot of chapters about career, money, success. An important thing is knowing when to give up, which is something you feel because if you think about it, it will terrify you even more. Rob White gave up a secure career in teaching. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to succeed in a real estate and restaurateur career, but if a boy from a small town did it, then it is not impossible. He walked past failures and hard times and raised again with new forces. Some chapters gave professional advice in career, like the way his boss in college went from the phrase “Let me put it this way” to “I have a little trick I like to call, ‘PAY ATTENTION’”.
The first pages of the book are dedicated to the other authors whose self-help books inspired Rob White. He introduces you to the authors and tells you what he learned from them. You can see he really has an impressive amount of knowledge and he dedicated his life to discovering these lessons only to offer them to you. The author might have spent a lot of money and time on discovering the secrets of life, but the biggest lesson you learn from his book is that you don’t need to do anything special, you just need to pay attention to the people around you. Unexpected gurus that teach you valuable lessons every day can be found anywhere, from a stranger in a candy shop who puts a penny in the jar for you, to a polite girl in an airport who doesn’t mind being disturbed.
However, I have an observation to make that didn’t influence my rating. It seemed to me that the author lacks humility sometimes and I think humility is important for a person who wants to inspire others. A typical person doesn’t have the chance to run with the bulls in Pamplona or drive a racecar, so I think it would have been better to appeal to a wider audience using simple situations anyone can relate to.
The book is a very light, fluid read. I personally couldn’t put it down. And once you start a chapter, it envelops you in its unique story. It felt like I needed more time to process and understand all the stories and teachings for them to have the right impact. I found some grammar errors, mostly missing hyphens and additional words. They were minor mistakes that didn’t distract me from the text, so I won’t take any stars away.
I give And then I met Margaret 4 out of 4 stars. It really impressed me, and I never read a self-help book before. Also, I don’t like motivational speeches, but somehow, when they are combined with a good personal story like in this case, I get carried away, and I very much enjoy it. I recommend it to people who like motivational books or anyone who needs new perspectives on life.
And Then I Met Margaret
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