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Resilience: The New Afterword

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  2,364 Ratings  ·  424 Reviews
In the year since the publication of her second memoir, Resilience, Elizabeth Edwards has once again found herself living in the glare of the media spotlight.  Now, in an eloquent, intimate, and emotionally powerful new afterword to her #1 national bestselling book, she offers readers a window into her world at a time when she is required to adjust once more to a new reali ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published June 29th 2010 by Crown Archetype (first published May 8th 2009)
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Ruth Sims
Dec 10, 2011 Ruth Sims rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wonder if reaction to this book might have something to do with the reader's age and life experience. I thought it was a remarkable book because of its honesty and the willingness of Elizabeth Edwards to share, without self pity, heartbreak that would have destroyed many, if not most, of us. The death of a child would be enough by itself to destroy a person. A cancer diagnosis alone would be enough. The confession of a beloved husband/ best friend/rock that he he'd had a one-night-stand and th ...more
Jun 10, 2009 Candis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't care for this book. Resilience doesn't seem like the correct title, Perseverance maybe, but not Resilience. She moves from one sense of loss to another and reveals how she coped with each trauma, but it just sounds like coping, not overcoming, which is what Resilience implies. It ends rather abruptly with no sense of closure. This book is really I think a documentation of the author's disappointment in the hand life has dealt her. It's a fast read and I gained insight into an interestin ...more
May 11, 2009 Catherine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, mainstream-us
Having seen Oprah's interview with Elizabeth Edwards on May 7th, I was eager to buy and read this book. The interview was open, honest, and engaging - Edwards communicated a tremendous sense of self that had been won at enormous cost. I wondered at the time how much of that was down to Winfrey's talent as an interviewer - the questions were forthright, and her demeanor calm, compassionate, but completely unwavering; this was a place where Truth was going to be spoken.

And I guess I now have my an
It is said that a grieving woman once came to the Buddha carrying her dead child. She had been wandering the streets for days with the child's body, unable to put it down. Asked to restore the child to life, the Buddha told the woman that she must first bring him a grain of rice from a house that had known no loss. The woman searched in vain for such a house and finally realized the lesson the Buddha was trying to teach: that she must put down the child's body. This story is, of course, a story ...more
May 11, 2009 Faye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a heartbreakingly sad book. For most of the book, she deals with the loss of her son. That same year, she lost her father. She was diagnosed with cancer. Then years later, the cancer returns and her husband has his infamous affair. She knows she is dying and is married to a man she doesn't know anymore. She does do a fine job communicating raw pain. Most of the book is well-written. There were passages that were excessively redundant but they were few. I like her honesty and her lack of ...more
Sue Reed
Jan 08, 2011 Sue Reed rated it really liked it
This was a good read!!!! Elizabeth Edwards was a very strong lady who had to deal with a lot of junk in her life. I enjoyed reading about her family, her relationship with her parents and even cried when I read the chapters about her son Wade. The thing I liked most about this book was that it was not about the scandal of her was about her life and her fights. Elizabeth spent so much of her life focusing on the positives of everything and always putting her children first...she was ...more
May 14, 2009 Kathleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I practically read this book in one sitting. Elizabeth did a wonderful job of expressing her feelings, it was if she spoke to me. I cried at times as she described living without her son, and again as she described living with Cancer. I believe she was telling us that these are the events that help her cope with her husbands indescretions. It seems so much further down the totem pole than what she had already dealt with. I loved that this book was not about scandal but about real life.
Deirdre Keating
Aug 16, 2010 Deirdre Keating rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I consider myself one of this book's least likely readers; while I love memoirs, political ones are usually inauthentic and ghost-written, and I never could stand John Edwards. Even though his political positions were probably closer to mine than other politicians, he always came off as a snake-oil-salesman to me. I still remember cringing during most of his VP debate against Cheney. Unsurprisingly, I find him even less appealing now.

But my mom's recent bad news had me searching our library for
Colleen Flannery
Like so many other reviews, mine starts out "i so wanted to like this book...." I wanted to see how this public figure handled her bouts with cancer, how her celebrity, devotion, faith, clout, whatever might make her journey singular and inspirational. We rarely saw Elizabeth angry. We all stood in awe of this woman who took her cancer public and pressed on with the campaigns. What i found was a woman who was so broken by her teenage son's death that she never learned to function, to cope. She j ...more
Jul 11, 2011 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
I so wanted to like this book more. I admired Elizabeth Edwards a lot, but this book gives you insight only into her response to the loss of her oldest son. She sometimes writes well, sometimes sloppily. She quotes from others too much for such a short book. I think that my biggest problem is that after almost 100 pages about dealing with the loss of a child, 50 pages about dealing with breast cancer, she doesn't really address her husband's infidelity and how she dealt with that. She calls it a ...more
Nov 06, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Yesterday, I found out that one of my dearest loved ones--who has battled one form of cancer for over a decade, and another form for the past several months--has zero to ten years to live. Feeling quite devastated, I searched online for books on coping with cancer. This book was near the top of the search results list; from its description, it seemed to be just what I needed. Since the library was already closed, my husband went to the bookstore and bought a copy for me. I started it last night ...more
Sep 27, 2009 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea she spent a good chunk of her childhood in Japan. It was interesting to hear her talk about the military bases that I visit quite often. I hate her husband, but she has lived a great life worth celebrating. I’ve grown to respect her, which means a lot.

Lines that I loved:

I suppose that in real life, we have to distinguish between those catastrophes we can repair and those that require us to face a new reality.

We stand a little straighter in his shadow.

The fall is much farther if you
Mar 16, 2015 Cara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth Edwards went through a decent amount of shit in her life. Her son died, she got breast cancer (which killed her not too long after this book was published), and most famously, her husband cheated on her while she was dying of cancer. I remember being rather disappointed with John Edwards when all that came out. He wasn't my favorite presidential candidate, but I didn't expect that. Cheating on your wife while she's got cancer, that's some real, dirty, Newt Gingrich kind of stuff. I onc ...more
Cathryn Mchenry
May 11, 2009 Cathryn Mchenry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing but be prepared to sob your way through it. Being through so much adversity, I felt she was reading the very words on my own soul. Amazing.
Jun 24, 2009 Rhonda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
Elizabeth Edwards writes how she is coping with three major events in her life---the death of her son, Wade, her breast cancer, and her husband's infidelity. She really shares her deepest feelings, how she is getting through life...


"Each time I fell into a chasm...........I had to accept that the planet had taken a few turns and I could not turn it back. My life was and would always be different, and it would be less than I hoped it would be. Each time, there was a new life, a new story.
Katie Tatton
I had read Elizabeth Edwards' first book Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers a few years ago and liked it very much, so I was anxious to read Resilience, especially after hearing an NPR interview in which Edwards said:
"I think that resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had, the reality that you liked before."

Edwards has certainly had more than her fair share of new realities that frankly sucked. Her son's death, the
Kathleen Hagen
Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities, by Elizabeth Edwards, narrated by the author, Produced by Random House Audio, downloaded from

Elizabeth Edwards is a beloved political figure. She is not the best narrator of her own books. I think she becomes emotionally charged in reading what she wrote. Her voice gets very small and tense and sometimes she is almost whispering her words. It makes it more difficult to listen to her. But the message she g
Jun 23, 2009 Shirleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How do you cope with a teenage son's sudden death in a car accident? What do you do to make the hurt disappear? How do you carry on in your life? How do you forgive a husband for his affair with another woman?

I found Elizabeth Edwards' personal story honest and both uplifting and heartbreaking. She reflects on adversities that she has faced in her life and how she is coping with them - a teenage son's death, breast cancer, recurrence of her cancer, her father's death, and her husband's indiscret
Jun 22, 2009 Mlg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A poignant book about facing life's adversities, Elizabeth Edwards takes the reader along with her as she searches for answers and in the end, finds them only within herself. She has had to endure the death of a child, terminal cancer, the loss of her father and her mother's senility, and now the loss of trust in a spouse. There's a great quote on the last page that I like: "The modern hero is a person who does something everyone thinks they could do if they were a little stronger, a little fas ...more
Elizabeth had a charmed life, and then not so much. In just a few years time, she lost her father, her son Wade, she got breast cancer, she recovered, it came back in her bones, her mother developed Alzheimer's, her husband cheated on her, the cancer killed her. She recorded her own story on the audio book while she was ill; and she just sounded so broken, it broke my heart. She also seemed to be overflowing with love and wisdom. Through it all, she was one pretty amazing woman. And a very fine ...more
Sep 08, 2009 Joanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I thought that there was probably too much about her son's death, I thought her outlook on how to deal with the adversities that we all face was excellent. Most of us have never lost a child (and I can see why that would color almost everything a person would do), realized that they are dying of cancer and had a perfect husband be unfaithful. This is a lot to have on one's plate. However, with all this, she frequently states that we must face each day, look at the good in our lives and ...more
Aug 04, 2009 Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is one that is a heavy book to read. A great deal of it is about grieving. I feel Elizabeth masterfully wove her thoughts about the process of grieving, and overcoming grief. I really liked where she talked about accepting the new reality, and letting go of the hope that our "old lives" can still be, so that we can find peace. For those who have criticized the title, it actually is perfect, for overcoming grief is resilience. Elizabeth has overcome her griefs as much as can be expected ...more
May 26, 2009 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edwards has certainly experienced many adversities in her life and she eloquently speaks on her process of finding resilience. The book's primary focus is on the loss of the Edwards' teenage son, Wade, in an automobile accident. Although the writing is quite repetitive, Edwards' descriptions of her grieving process was profound and heartbreaking for this reader.

John's affair was discussed, but much more sparsely than perhaps what some readers might desire or expect. If you're looking for sordid
May 19, 2009 Cynthia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Elizabeth Edwards' first memoir--Saving Graces--and while I was very excited about reading this second memoir, I couldn't really imagine how she could create another equally beautiful book. But she did it, and it really is a very, very good book by a very special person. Don't read it for the tabloid stuff (it's not there); read it because Elizabeth Edwards has a gift for writing simply and beautifully about some very difficult circumstances. I can't recommend this book enough!
May 28, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What a lady! I am just amazed at Elizabeth's courage, and her ability to share her life's lessons with us in such a beautiful manner. She is so real. Her emotions shared are so raw and heart wrenching. She is smart! She epitomizes the word, class! ... Elizabeth Edwards is down to earth, genuine, and truly remarkable.
May 14, 2009 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this on Mother's Day morning - it was a good read for a single sitting read. She is thoughtful and earnest in her descriptions of her journey through hardship and grief. It is a journey that is very unique to her and she kept it that way - not generalizing, just sharing. Made me think a little bit of the way Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote.
May 12, 2009 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not know much about Elizabeth Edwards before reading the book - only what I read in the tabloids. What a classy woman. I really enjoyed reading about her life and her decisions on how to deal with it......short read, but very good.
May 19, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The moral is that life is not perfect--and you have to choose whether to bounce back from your child's death, breast cancer, terminal cancer, and your &$*#($&* husband's affair. She slams John Edwards which he deserves. I used to like him before the $400 haircut.
Mar 26, 2013 Hanson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-to-reread
I loved this book by the late Elizabeth Edwards. She had a lot of strikes against her, and while she wasn't perfect (no one is), she took the high road and seemed a very classy woman overall. I am going to read this one again.
Lindsay Murphy
May 28, 2009 Lindsay Murphy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I underestimated this book. She has such a gift. Could relate to her and what she wrote about on so many levels.
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