Title: the Possiblity of Everything
Author: Hope Edelman
Who Should Read It? Lovers of memoirs; anyone looking to find a sense of hope in a difficult world; anyone willing to believe in the possibility of everything.
What I Have to Say: This was an amazingly beautiful, hopeful book that ignited my love of travel and adventure while at the same time reminding me how beautiful it is to have the option to choose to believe in whatever we please.
In this memoir, Hope and her family travel to Belize on what starts off as a vacation but in the end turns into a journey of healing and faith. Her daughter is sick, and though she may not have previously realized it, her marriage is in a shambles. On their trip to Belize, Hope will be forced to test her faith over and over and over again. At on point in time in the book, she says "I still have no idea how it's possible to believe in the potential of something while simultaneously refusing it the right to exist, but it is." For me, this one phrase just about sums up the entire book. Hope believes in the possibility of everything, and she wants so badly to believe in more than just the possibility, to believe in the existence of everything. Throughout the entire book she struggles with this, trying so hard to believe for the sake of her sick daughter, whose imaginary friend is changing her personality in so many negative ways. Does she have a negative spirit attached to her?
At some points I found this frustrating. I also believe in the possibility of everything, but after that, I believe we can choose whether or not to believe. And, for the most part, I choose to believe. For example, no one has ever PROVEN that unicorns don't exist, so I choose to believe that they do. For me, it's more a question of choice than faith (is there a difference?), and it was therefore sometimes hard for me to see her struggling with something that seemed to me so obvious. Hope's book taught me, though, that, for most people, it's a question of faith. And Hope's struggle to believe in the power of having faith, and to learn how to have faith, is inspiring and powerful.
With each Shaman they visit, each new mini-trip they take, we see Hope's faith growing. We see her doing things she never previously dreamed of doing for the love of her daughter, Maya. And through it all, we see how this heals her family when she didn't even know it needed to be healed. No, Hope doesn't magically transform from a skeptic to a believer in just this one trip, but we see this awesome voyage making many profound cracks in her skepticism, and we see how just having faith gives us the power to grow.
Aside from the deep, emotional implications of this book, like I said, it also played on my love of travel. It takes place in Belize, and Hope does a great job of weaving on Shamanistic and Maya(n?) history. The book left me begging my boyfriend to agree to go to Belize with me for our next vacation, and I was excited to learn so much about the Maya Indians and their history.
"The Possiblity of Everything" is beautifully written and deeply touching while also being an incredibly enojyable, emotional, quick read!
Summary:From the bestselling author of Motherless Daughters, here is the real-life story of one woman's search for a cure to her family's escalating troubles, and the leap of faith that took her on a journey to an exotic place and a new state of mind.
In the autumn of 2000, Hope Edelman was a woman adrift, questioning her marriage, her profession, and her place in the larger world. Feeling vulnerable and isolated, she was primed for change. Into her stagnant routine dropped Dodo, her three-year-old daughter Maya's curiously disruptive imaginary friend. Confused and worried about how to handle Dodo's apparent hold on their daughter, Edelman and her husband made the unlikely choice to take her to Maya healers in Belize, hoping that a shaman might help them banish Dodo–and, as they came to understand, all he represented–from their lives.
An account of how an otherwise mainstream mother and wife finds herself making an extremely unorthodox choice, The Possibility of Everything chronicles the magical week in Central America that transformed Edelman from a person whose past had led her to believe only in the visible and the "proven" to someone open to the idea of larger, unseen forces. This deeply affecting, beautifully written memoir of a family' s emotional journey explores what Edelman and her husband went looking for in the jungle and what they ultimately discovered–as parents, as spouses, and as ordinary people–about the things that possess and destroy, or that can heal us all.
Final Question: When it comes to believing in unproven things, are you more of a believer or a skeptic? Also, do you believe it boils down to choosing to believe or learning to have faith? Or would you say these are both the same thing?
Disclaimer: Thanks to Dorothy from Pump Up Your Book! Promotion for sending me a copy of this book to give an honest review.