BERKELEY TO PARIS AND BACK WITH TWO STOPS IN NEW YORK by Lynn Snyder is a moving read. 4 Stars -🌟🌟🌟🌟

Title: BERKELEY TO PARIS AND BACK WITH TWO STOPS IN NEW YORK

Author: LYNN SNYDER

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

Genre: MEMOIR, NON-FICTION

Length: 101 PAGES

Publisher: CREATE SPACE

Release Date:

ISBN: 9781530855896

Price: $5.38 USD

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟


* I received a free copy of this book through the 
Goodreads Giveaway program.

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Playwright Lynn Snyder had decided to give up looking for love. In fact, she even briefly contemplated moving far away from San Francisco to live out the rest of her life on the edges of the High Sierra mountain range.

Thankfully she realized that idea would be taking things a bit too far.

Not long after making this monumental life decision, she heard an announcement on her favorite classical music radio station regarding personal ads for meeting people with the same interests (this was many years before the invention of online dating.) Lynn decided she wouldn’t mind meeting new people and answered an ad that interested her.

It was the best decision she had ever made. It was how she met and fell in love with Leo, which led to them having twenty years together.

I expected this book to be a chronicle of their lives together and nothing more, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that while it was what I expected, it was also so much more.

Leo is eventually diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease and at this point in the story it could have taken a dramatic and sad turn. The author instead chooses to use his diagnosis as a challenge. It is one that Leo will inevitably lose, but at least they had each other and they were deeply in love.

Lynn Snyder is an intelligent and interesting person who loves to travel and who is extremely self-aware. I love that she is unapologetic and firm in her beliefs – many of which I share.

The scene I found the most compelling takes place at a Huntington’s Support Group.

Jane’s eighty-year-old mother, Marilyn tells us that Jane has started to become violent.” Obviously this poses great problems for Marilyn since she is Jane’s sole caregiver. “She says that when her physician suggested Jane be placed in a nursing home, Jane protested loudly, demanding that she be allowed to commit suicide.” Marilyn is deeply religious and does not believe in suicide and the resident social worker tells her to trick Jane into going into a nursing home. She also points out that suicide is illegal. I agree 100% with Lynn’s response to this conversation and I applaud her for voicing her opinion in such an emotional matter. When she says that suicide is a crime, Lynn says:

 
“I’m well aware of that. But deceiving a mentally unstable person should be and isn’t, which doesn’t mean that we, in this group, should be as unenlightened as our society.”

Lynn leaves the support group – never to return. She realizes that she does not fit in, which, in my opinion, is a good thing.

Lynn also does a credible job of articulating the helplessness and despair that is often felt by those who have to watch a loved one deteriorate, knowing there is nothing they can do to save them. This is my favorite quote from the book:

“I want to help him speak and walk. I want to rub strength into his fingers so that he can play the piano. I love him so much, and it seems incredible that I can’t translate my love into restoring what is rightfully his – speech, mobility, everything that allows him to be who he is.”

There is so much emotion in those few short sentences and Lynn’s love for Leo shines like a beacon for the rest of us.

I rate this book as 4 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 

The one thing that I would have liked to see would have been some photos the couple and possibly some photos of their travels and their homes. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Lynn Snyder was born in Akron, Ohio. After receiving a degree in political science from the University of Michigan, she became a journalist.

She spent time in London, England, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, before moving to Northern California.

It was there that she met her husband, Leo.

In addition to journalism, Snyder has also worked as a playwright, campaign publicity director, and literature teacher.

Visit Lynn Snyder on FACEBOOK    

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5 Stars for DAUGHTER OF THE SEA AND SKY by David Litwack – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

  
Title: THE DAUGHTER OF THE SEA AND THE SKY

Author: David Litwack

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Sarah Zimmerman 

Length: 9 hours and 39 minutes 

Genre: Fantasy 

Release Date: February 23, 2015

Publisher: Evolved Publishing LLC

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

~ I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

The land was split in two during the Great Sundering, with an ocean between the two lands. The only place where the two countries connected was the tiny strip of land known as “The Land Bridge” which was home to two massive gates. “They called them ‘Asylum Gates’ because any refugee who passed through them, even by a hair’s breadth, had the right to request asylum from the other side … It straddled a negotiated boundary and provided the only contact between the Minister’s people and the Soulless. Races that had kept apart except in time of war.”

Geography was not the only difference between the two groups. If you lived in “The Blessed Lands,” you referred to your people as “The Blessed” while the others were called “The Soulless.” However, if you happened to live in “The Republic” you referred to the Blessed as “Zealots” and your own people as the voice of reason. 

Helena and Jason grew up learning to quash their “passions” and to use logic and reason when problem solving or when making decisions. 

Helena grew up in a privileged family. Her mother was scientific in every way, including child rearing. Her father was a beloved teacher at the Polytechnic Institute. 

Jason grew up with Helena, but his family was not as well off. Despite the difference in their social status, they were the best of friends throughout their childhood. Jason moved away to further his education and to achieve something with his life and Helena missed him terribly. 

Through a quirk of fate, (although their analytical brains would never have accepted fate as a valid hypothesis) Jason’s new job brought him back into Helena’s life at exactly the time she needed him most. 

Helena’s father had recently died and she had watched him slowly fade away. Since she idolized her father she had been devastated by his death. Compounding Helena’s heartache was her mother’s emotional and eventually even physical absence. 

Helena was contemplating her loss and what to do with her future when she sees Jason running nearby. They both notice something in the water and quickly realize that someone is drowning. 

Jason dives in to save the person who turns out to be a nine year old girl named Kaylani. 

What neither Jason nor Helena realized at the time was that Kaylani would change their lives forever. 

You would think that just the plot lines I have already mentioned would be enough for one book, but those things are just tiny parts of a much more epic tale.

Throw in the supernatural, priests and priestesses, a government bent on jailing anyone and everyone who defies the law even in the smallest way. Add an artist commune for people with damaged souls, a retiring government official who is a stickler for the rules whether they are right or wrong and a zealot with delusions of grandeur. Once you add all these characters into the story, you have one heck of an interesting read or in my case, an interesting listen since I was lucky enough to listen to the audiobook version. 

THE DAUGHTER OF THE SEA AND THE SKY surprised me, but I am very glad that I chose to listen to it. I enjoyed this audiobook very much. 

The narrator did an outstanding job of relating the story of this audiobook. Sarah Zimmerman was the perfect choice for this audiobook. Her tone, her pacing, her inflections and enunciation were sheer perfection. I rate the narration as 5 out of 5 stars.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

The audiobook in its entirety was well done. The characters were well written and easily relatable. The setting was unique and interesting. I loved the division of the two countries. The author does an incredible job of detailing how different groups of people see themselves and each other. 

David Litwack seems to have an ingrained understanding of how different people view the world around them. It is always interesting to me how multiple people can view the same event and draw vastly different conclusions from it. 

David Litwack also does an excellent job of portraying the many character’s personal quirks and in explaining how each character’s life experiences and their personal history has contributed to their character and beliefs. By the end of this audiobook the listener feels that he (or she) really knows each character and is able to understand what motivated them to act in the ways that they did. 

I rate the audiobook version of THE DAUGHTER OF THE SEA AND THE SKY as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐