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
Price: $5.38 USD
Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟
* I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program.
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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