Saturday, January 24, 2015

Love in the Time of Contempt, Consolations for Parents of Teenagers by Joanne Fedler.

Love in the Time of Contempt, Consolations for Parents of Teenagers by Joanne Fedler. 

This is the first of Joanne's books that I have had the privilege of reading. As the parent of two teenagers I know I could use all the help that was available to prepare myself for further trials that await our family in the gauntlet of the next few years. 

Remember to think, remember to breath and remember to laugh. These are the central messages I took home from the book. 

Joanne does not preach or direct us, she does not prescribe behaviours. She provides us with a privileged window into her own brilliant mind.The artistry of her words did not have me reaching for a dictionary....much, and at the same time did not feel dumbed down at all. The pictures she painted with these words allowed me to feel present at the many touching and hilarious anecdotes.  

The book consists of 30 bite sized chapters that can be read in any order, and independently. She tackles a variety  themes as learning to drive ,suicide, bullying, religion and school . I read a chapter or three, each day, and always found myself thinking and smiling. I didn't always agree with Joanne , but that is not something she tries to accomplish do or wants. 

I gained an insight into how the mind of a brilliant intellectual, feminist works. My take on her "spiritual shit" is more inline with that of her kids than hers. She does seem like an "eccentric aunt" in many places but one who can laugh at herself, and see herself from the point of view of others. 

The world would be a far better place if others could be as tolerant, liberal and empathetic as Joanne. 

I would have loved to have seen more of the father's - Zed's point of view in the book.I know this is my own sexist bias creeping in but sometimes I could identify more with his hands offish approach. 

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to grow as a human being.  I do not think you even have to be a parent to be able to benefit from her book, her reflections will inspire you to be more tolerant and empathetic of any beings displaying seemingly irrational behaviour