Wednesday, January 23, 2013

World of Words Wednesday - Book Review/Memes

Saving Each Other: A Mother-Daughter Love Story
by Victoria Jackson, Ali Guthy  
– I love mother daughter stories as well as stories about people fighting against all odds.  Saving Each Other is both of this and more as well. Every time a child is sick, even if it is something as small as the flu, parents do their best to help their child recover and wish they can protect their child from all future illnesses. Learning your child has a chronic disease for which there is no known cure – that is surely devastating for any parent. 
Victoria and Ali both tell the story of the struggles, the changes NMO brought to their lives - from their viewpoints. Their accounts touched me as I could relate with how Victoria ‘gulped down buckets of science relentlessly to get to the bottom of NMO’ and be amazed with how Ali maintains a sunny outlook and with all that is happening to her worry about the fact that her mother is not taking care of herself. 
In waging a mother’s war to protect her child against the incurable, Victoria, along with her husband Bill and with Ali, founded the Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation which has helped put this disease on the map, helped provide research for causes and cures for this and other similar auto-immune diseases.  I am amazed at how they created this foundation so it could benefit many others and made this personal struggle into something so much more – something that helped them and others.
Their telling of the story will help any  parent who is out there facing something similar to know they are not alone, that ‘when we love from a place that’s so deep and so powerful, we can transcend’ (in Victoria’s words from the book). This book teaches us that we can defy the odds, we can indeed – with sheer will, with love, and with the sheer power of passion and persistence – overcome.  

If I have to sum this book up in one word, I would pick – Inspiring
100 percent of all proceeds from this book directly support scientific and clinical research for NMO.

You can watch Victoria and Ali on the Ellen show here:

Rating: B+
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from FSB Associates for a honest review. 

For ABC Wednesday's letter of the week B, I continue with women authors:
Enid Blyton: I grew up reading Enid Blyton as a kid. Endearing characters like Mr.Pink Whistle, naughty Binkle and Flip, the wonderful creatures of the Faraway Tree, fairies and more as well as Elizabeth Jane (from the Naughtiest Girl series), all her mystery/adventure series(Famous Fives, Secret Sevens, Five Find outers and more), and so many more. Some of my favorite books to read and read again as a kid were Enid Blytons’.
I remember my very first Enid Blyton – ‘Rag, Tag and Bobtail’.  I looked for that book during my recent visit back home but looks like it got lost during our many moves over the years.  I did bring back a few other old beloved Enid Blytons back with me – ‘The Adventures of Binkle and Flip’, ‘The Children of Cherry Tree Farm’, and ‘The Secret Mountain’. I also bought, at my favorite book store in Bangalore, books from the Naughtiest Girl series.
The world Enid Blyton created for me through her books, was always magical, be it about magical creatures, or other boys and girls on adventures.  I dreamt of my very own magical trees, chairs, and grand adventures and was rapidly falling in love.. with reading. This first love of mine has lasted so long and am confident will stay for years to come! 
And today, I am passing on this love of reading and Enid Blyton to my little ones..

One of my loved Blyton quotes:
“I wonder where you got that idea from? I mean, the idea that it's feeble to change your mind once it's made up. That's a wrong idea, you know. Make up your mind about things, by all means - but if something happens to show that you are wrong, then it is feeble not to change your mind, Elizabeth. Only the strongest people have the pluck to change their minds, and say so, if they see they have been wrong in their ideas.”
― Enid Blyton, The Naughtiest Girl in the School

Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden brings back wonderful memories for me. I loved this book and read it many times over – this book was a gift from a family friend and I am guessing I must have been about 7 when I got the book -  a surprise because there was no special reason or occasion – but just because I loved reading.  The book still is at my parent’s home in Bangalore and I have read other versions of the book since as well as watched a few movie versions. The memory of the joy of the first time I read it is still somewhere inside me and never fails to brin a smile to my face – so thank you, Frances Hodgson Burnett for the Secret Garden, and ‘The Little Princess’ as well. 

One of my favorite Burnett quotes:
“At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done--then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Other honorable 'B' mentions for me – the Bronte sisters of course(loved Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights is something I am rereading this year), Pearl S Buck(The Good Earth was a book I really enjoyed reading), Rupa Bajwa (her ‘The Sari Shop’ tugged at my heartstrings), and Anjali Banerjee(I read two books by her – Invisible Lives and Looking for Bapu - both so different and both wonderful)

For Three Word Wednesday (brag, icy, polite), here are two - a haiku and a poem 'Bragging Rights'

He was a bragger
With icy politeness, she
‘Chillfully’ unbragged.

Bragging Rights
“It is not polite to brag, dear”
Said mama to her little one
“But mama, there is nothing I fear,
That is true, not bragging”, said her son

“Did you see how I conquered
That massive hill of snow out on Dewdrop
It was icy cold, I brrred
But stayed on course and reached the top.”

“Oh! Did you? That is so wonderful, sweetie
Can you climb up again? I missed seeing you at the end
I will get out my camera and this time, be ready
to take a snap and show off to my friends!”

For Wondrous Words Wednesday,from books I have been reading:
  • ameliorate: to improve: to make something better, or become better
  • serrulated: rough - of the margin of a leaf shape; Having a minutely serrate margin, as in a leaflet of the rose. 


  1. The book sounds quite enjoyable. Never, I must admit, have I read either of your authors, though I saw a Secret Gardens film

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  2. The B authors sound so inpiring. May need to pick up some copies for my home.

  3. Thank you so much for an excellent haiku and I really like "Bragging Rights" as well. Also appreciated your author introductions. i feel like I must have read Enid Blyton but can't pull a single title out of my memory. Will have to look her up. I'm going to follow your blog.

  4. I'm always open to book reviews! Thanks,

    abcw team

  5. Yes, you're right, these books are interesting.

  6. Yeah, love the poetic wit, and that word 'brrred' is a chiller!

    My 3WW is HERE


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