There’s a point in everyone’s life when they ask, “Is this it?” Perhaps you have regrets about the past or longing to be someone different. Often your life turns out to be nothing like you expected. Dani Shapiro expresses these frustrations in her book, “Devotion: A Memoir.” Spurred by doubts about her Judaism, her rebellious childhood, and her son’s life-threatening illness, she seeks answers to life’s tough questions. Shapiro visits a yogi, a Buddhist and a rabbi, coming away from each with new insights. “Her searching doesn’t seem to allow her to break out of her own angst, to stop looking inward. There is a Hebrew expression, tikkun olam, which means ‘healing the world’: one of the central tenets of Judaism is that you’re here to finish God’s work of creation while you’re on earth,” according to The New York Times. Shapiro gains snippets of wisdom, but her anxiety and doubt clouds over concrete answers. Publisher’s Weekly explains, “She’s neither showboating nor seeking pat answers, but using honest self-reflection to provoke herself and her readers into taking stock of their own spiritual inventory.” After all, perhaps the questions that Shapiro is asking aren’t supposed to have answers.
By Adrienne Vogt on June 10, 2010 in Books 100 > Biography and Memoir
View at Amazon: “Devotion: A Memoir”
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