I have two pieces in this anthology which of course makes me a bit biased. However, I truly did enjoy the idea of an anthology in which the pieces were all about how to love live because of, and often in spite of, its struggles and joys.One of my favorite pieces is "Banana Boats and Boatloads of Cousins" by K'Lee Williams. I love the way she evokes the joys of her wonderful childhood. I've heard people complain that they can't write because it seems all writing is based on the bad things that happened to people in life. Williams' piece is a great refutation of that premise.
"At Nine" by Kathi Anderson is a beautiful piece of poetry-ish prose about the enticements and fears of childhood freedom. A good read for adults and young adults. Sarah Natalia Lee's story "The Cafeteria" would be a good one to share with young adults as well, as it demonstrates the empowerment of compassion and resisting peer pressure.
Namid's memoir "I Am 30" is a straight-forward, beautiful yet brutal piece about life with M.S. The human will shines powerfully through her writing, as it does in Chelle Cordero's piece ("Strength and Love and Family"), which focuses on her struggles with pregnancy and miscarriage.
Smoky Trudeau's story "Goodbye, Emily Dickinson" is funny and moving; it's about someone who embraces life even though many others see her as pathetic. Sue Stewart's "50 and Counting", is a story many women who've been through mid-life divorce will relate to.
Life's biggest question is: What is this human will to continue in the face of everything life can throw at us--including knowledge of our own inevitable demise? This anthology grapples with this question through many different voices and lives.
Full Table of Contents:
The Visit ….. 9
Lillith T. Lewis
Strength and Love and Family ….. 21
Banana Boats and Boatloads of Cousins ….. 25
At Nine ….. 33
Flight of the Crone ….. 37
Reflected Fear ….. 39
Wide Open ….. 41
The Ties That Unbind ….. 47
Season for Love ….. 57
The Cafeteria ….. 69
Sarah Natalia Lee
The Color of Change ….. 75
Gami ….. 79
Trey’s Need ….. 83
I Am 30 ….. 91
Someone Formerly Known As Not-So-Braveheart…..95
Goodbye, Emily Dickinson ….. 103
Forest Song Little Mother Ch. 9 ….. 101
Fifty and Counting ….. 145
Synonymous with Ecstasy
(or, an apologia for the thesaurus)….. 153
The Journey ….. 161
Yesterday’s Hearts ….. 171
Marilyn Celeste Morris
Promises ….. 175
Lonely Soul Ch. 19 ….. 203