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The Possibility of Everything by Hope…

The Possibility of Everything

by Hope Edelman

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I wanted to read this book mainly because I have been to Belize - not the touristy cruise ship parts of Belize, but the tiny towns with 100 foot long air strips and as authentic in culture as it gets. And I love to read about anyone's experiences in this beautiful country with such rich culture. I am also well aware and intrigued by the Mayan healing that goes on deep in some of the rainforests there.

Hope writes a lot of Mommy books.. which I unfortunately do not relate to - so there is push and pull of my interests here.. but I find that it just brings my curiosity out when that happens. She writes in this one, a memoir, about a journey, to take her 3-year-old daughter Maya on a “journey of faith” because she is convinced her daughters imaginary friend “Dodo” is evil. Already I’m wanting to know more.

Her and her husband take her to a shaman in Belize who practices Mayan healing arts. Her journey is rich with Belizean culture and I imagine myself back in the beautiful surroundings with nostalgia. The beautiful people, the rich history - it’s all described so colorfully.
Her book is mostly nostalgia as well, as it’s written about 10 years after the fact. “In Belize, there is a greater sense of connection to other people. It was a tremendous relief to be in a culture where people treat the spiritual dimension quite practically. This gave me the clarity I felt lacking in my life.” I love this quote, and the strength behind it. Belize just has that effect on your soul.

I wonder what I would have done in this situation. I don’t know if I would have ever taken it to this extreme, but again, not a mother. And I imagine the family structure can suffer under such circumstances as hers does with Uzi. She’s doing the best she can, but it’s hard to read the of struggles families got though when a child is “ill.”

I’m glad I read this - it was interesting, and colorful, and I found myself enthralled just waiting to find out what would happen, and if Maya would get “better." ( )
  Bookapotamus | Jun 27, 2018 |
The Possibility of Everything is written by Hope Edelman, author of Motherless Daughters. The title got my attention and drew me to this book. It wasn’t what I expected (although I’m not sure what I expected). It’s about mothering (and wife-ing too, for that matter), and about trusting your judgment in regard to both. The couple has a little girl, and the book deals with a short period of time in their lives when Maya first has an imaginary friend named “Dodo”, which subsequently morphs into an entire fleet of Dodos. At first they aren’t really that concerned, but as disturbing events pile up, their worry escalates. They decide to take a family trip to Belize and hopefully, with the help of a shaman, sort things out during this time. What I liked about the book is the author’s honesty as she described her feelings about her marriage, her daughter, herself, especiallly has she has to make difficult choices about what is the right thing to do in uncharted parenting territory. It was a hard-to-put-down book. ( )
  kmcwrites | Mar 24, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
About all I remember of this book was not enjoying it. It was a tragic story about a couple seeking a cure for their child, and while I understand the try anything mentality, I'm more of the 'try anything that has some fact behind it'. ( )
  waxlight | Dec 20, 2010 |
I really wanted to get into this book and enjoy the author's journey to finding more to Life. As a shamanic practitioner, I am very interested in stories of modern mystics, considering the lack of tribal support, and I am equally drawn to the tribeless who seek them for healing. Given that, I never felt drawn into the story. I wanted to feel the passion of her journey, but all I felt was her insecurity, anxiety, doting worry. This is a modern woman's "Jonathan Livingston Seagull," though not nearly as heartfelt or poetic. I enjoyed the writing, for the most part, though the author's cynicism frequently interrupts the flow, creating distance rather than drawing me into her perspective. Her rigid insistence against the spiritual, even when she doubted her beloved science, did not make me sympathetic to her at all. In fact, at times I just felt flat out sorry for her husband and child. I got a little lost with the constant references to her mother's death, which seemed poised to burst into some kind of present observation and never did. She just talks around learning to cherish every moment and knowing that through her daughter she gets to re-experience her mother, to some degree. Likewise her meandering through memories of lovers and former relationships, the illness of her father, combined with leaps forward, beyond the chronology of the story just didn't work for me. They came across disjointed and not tied into the plot. It read like a private journal and not as a polished, edited book.

In terms of her leap of faith, I applaud the author and I firmly believe the experience chronicled in this memoir was life-changing for her. I just didn't feel that she conveyed it with the passion or power it gifted her. Having spent time in Belize, I thoroughly enjoyed her descriptions of the people, places and cultural nuances of her travels, though her observations of being a reasonably wealthy American in a poverty-stricken country were oddly limited. She touches on the cultural appropriation of venturing to Belize for her own gain but she never develops the idea, let alone devises how she can give back for the gifts her family received. I know that part of the proceeds of the book go to charities there, but that was not included in the story. It's a side note on her website.

For those who are testing new spiritual boundaries, this book will speak to them. For those who comfortable outside the box, this book will likely be coarse and be a welcomed reminder of compassion. ( )
  copperbeech | Jul 7, 2010 |
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Worried about how to handle an imaginary friend's apparent hold on their daughter, Hope Edelman and her husband made the unlikely choice to take the young child to Maya healers in Belize, hoping that a shaman might help them banish this disruption--and, as they came to understand, all it represented--from their lives. In this deeply affecting, beautifully written memoir, Hope explores what they ultimately discover.… (more)

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