Camzcam's Reviews > Resilience: The New Afterword

Resilience by Elizabeth Edwards
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's review
Dec 12, 2009

it was ok

I think a better title for this book might be, "Bitterness." I wanted to like this book, because I really like Elizabeth Edwards, but unfortunately it failed for me on many levels.

This is the second book authored by John Edwards' outspoken and self-effacing wife. In this book she catalogues the tragedies and disappointments she has suffered as an adult and how she hopes she has "risen above" them. To be fair...she has walked a challenging road. 1-Her active and healthy father suffered a stroke that the doctor told her had left him brain-dead. Through Elizabeth's intuition and strong will, they found another doctor, and her father went on to live for 13 more an active, articulate, member of society...he even eventually was able to drive again! 2-Her gifted and beloved 16-year-old son, Wade was killed in a freak car accident. 3-At 40, she decided to have two more children. 4-Her husband ran as Vice-Presdient with John Kerry as president (perhaps you all remember how that turned out.) 5-Just days before the Kerry/Edwards election, she discovered she had breast cancer. She went through serious cancer treatment and the cancer went into remission. 6-In just another 3 years, the cancer returned and metastasized in her bones...a terminal diagnosis. 7-Despite the diagnosis, her husband decided to run for the Democratic Party nomination for President. 8-Just days after entering the race, John confessed to an affair. He told her for a year that it was a one-night lapse in judgment, only to later confess that it had been much more than that.

Now although, I feel compassion for Edwards, I did not really enjoy the book. 1-The writing is unimpressive...she is, after all, an attorney, so I had higher expectations. It is blah, predictable, REPETITIVE, and relies heavily on pop-song lyrics and popular culture references. 2-For the most part, as she explains how she has overcome trials, it doesn't seem like she has moved past them at all. It doesn't speak to "resilience" to me when she seems to be clinging so strongly to the past. For me, the best part of the book was when she talks about a young Japanese woman she met as a child when she was living abroad with her military father. This woman had trained to be a geisha, and then was permanently disfigured in Hiroshima. As a result, she was only left with her geisha training to eventually teach her instrument and dancing skills to the children of American soldiers living in her country. This is a small several paragraph anecdote that showed what true resilience is. Too bad Edwards didn't take it more to heart. 3-She says this book is for her children...I can't imagine in any way how this book could possibly serve them. 4-Fortunately, the "affair" is actually only a tiny little portion of the book...she does not delve into details for which I am glad. However, I HATE the word "indiscretion" and she splatters that word freely all over the pages. What a euphemism! To me, an "indiscretion" is when someone tells an off-color joke. Adultery is not an indiscretion.

Ultimately, I don't think I would recommend this book to anyone. It's too bad...I always found her a refreshing public figure.
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message 1: by Nic (new)

Nic I love your negative reviews. They are so fun to read! They usually get a me to laugh AND steer clear of the book you are blasting.

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