Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities

Book - 2009
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The bestselling author of Saving Graces shares her inspirational message on the challenges and blessings of coping with adversity.

She's one of the most beloved political figures in the country, and on the surface, seems to have led a charmed life. In many ways, she has. Beautiful family. Thriving career. Supportive friendship. Loving marriage. But she's no stranger to adversity. Many know of the strength she had shown after her son, Wade, was killed in a freak car accident when he was only sixteen years old. She would exhibit this remarkable grace and courage again when the very private matter of her husband's infidelity became public fodder. And her own life has been on the line. Days before the 2004 presidential election--when her husband John was running for vice president--she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After rounds of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation the cancer went away--only to reoccur in 2007.

While on the campaign trail, Elizabeth met many others who have had to contend with serious adversity in their lives, and in Resilience , she draws on their experiences as well as her own, crafting an unsentimental and ultimately inspirational meditation on the gifts we can find among life's biggest challenges. This short, powerful, pocket-sized inspirational book makes an ideal gift for anyone dealing with difficulties in their life, who can find peace in knowing they are not alone, and promise that things can get better.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Broadway Books, c2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780767931366
Call Number: 921 EDWARDS
Characteristics: 213 p. ; 20 cm
Subjects: Edwards, Elizabeth, 1949-2010 -- Philosophy.
Edwards, John, 1953 June 10-
Edwards, John, 1953 June 10- -- Family.
Edwards, Elizabeth, 1949-2010.
Resilience (Personality trait)
Legislators' spouses -- United States -- Biography.
Cancer -- Patients -- United States -- Biography.
Lawyers' spouses -- North Carolina -- Biography.
North Carolina -- Biography.


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ScottNadia Dec 23, 2013

This book was too depressing. I couldn't finish it and had to return it.

ksoles Nov 21, 2012

"If you have picked up this book in hopes that in it there will be details of a scandal, you should now put the book down. This is my story, and my story is filled with pain and anger, with great erasures of my history and new outlines for my future, but it is not filled with the clatter you seek. The story from my side is quite a different story from the one of grocery store papers, a story played out too many times but rarely as publicly as my own."

The above quote does not appear until the final section of "Resilience," an odd placement considering the vulnerability Edwards displays throughout the rest of the book. But the words accurately capture her poetic and heartfelt story about dealing with circumstances wildly beyond human control. She picks out memories that demonstrate how others have processed tragedy: a Japanese woman, about to become a geisha, who instead became a dance instructor after experiencing the atomic explosion in Hiroshima; Edwards' father, who suffered a major stroke that left him paralyzed but refused to accept a doctor's dire prognosis.

The chapter on the death of Edwards' son Wade's forms the book's climax. Instead of explaining how she dealt with her grief, Edwards powerfully describes how she dreamt of Wade, how she planted flowers by his gravesite, how she kept his room intact after his death. She continues her story through her cancer diagnosis and finally, through her husband's "indiscretion."

Edwards refuses to become a politician's prop-wife who must stand alongside her cheating husband. Instead, she remains very much her own person, one who abstains from platitudes and stands as a full-fledged individual, not as an accessory to John.

Ultimately, Edwards' "resilience" means that one must understand how to reframe and accept a new life after tragedy. Cowering in denial is not an option.

Oct 24, 2010

Elizabeth Edward's writing at first seems simple but if read attentively it is clear that she is trying to describe an inner landscape which is not totally possible to describe.

After reading this book, I found myself rooting for Elizabeth to have those ten years she wants badly and hopefully more.

She's faced some tough bumps in the road but she is able to get back to the top of the water and keep swimming towards her priorities in life.


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