Jeanne's Reviews > The Council of Dads: My Daughters, My Illness, and the Men Who Could Be Me

The Council of Dads by Bruce Feiler
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May 18, 10

bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in May, 2010

Life gave Bruce Feiler a chance to consider where he came from and the lessons he'd want to leave behind. We all have this ability, but sometimes it takes something like a cancer diagnoses to get us to realize it. Some of us might be lucky enough to learn from others, instead, and this book serves that purpose.

Who is Bruce Feiler and why do I care? Well, technically, I don't know and I don't care. And yet I read the book. The idea behind the book is intrinsically self-centered, egotistical, and yet it is not. "I don't want to be forgotten" is a motivating factor that most of us can relate to. When you add family to the mix, however, life isn't ever just about "me." This book isn't written with the intent to glorify Bruce Feiler. It's a preservation of his formative moments, and the friends who were part of them, so that his children would have some answers if he were not there with them.

I found it interesting that, while Feiler says he does not want to include family members in the Council, assuming they'd automatically be part of the mix, he intersperses counsel from his family history. Letters to family and friends from his "Lost Year" also help bring us through his story, giving shape to the book.

Questions of place, family, what it means to be a man, and how to live life are all a part of this book. I imagine Bruce Feiler, his friends and family are stronger because of this Council of Dads.
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