The Mark of a Good Book

by Rachel Baker on November 14, 2016

The day after the elections, I connected with my cousin’s daughter who lives in NY and worked on the Hillary Clinton campaign and also worked for Planned Parenthood. She’s an amazing young woman, who moved to NYC for school so she could experience life outside of her hometown.

I knew she’d be down and I was concerned that she’d lose her fire for fighting for what she believes in due to the outcome of the election. First, I texted her – she sent me pictures of the sit-in that she was participating in as a peaceful protest of the disregard for the popular vote. Later on in the day, she called me. She called to describe how she was feeling and the beauty of the protest she’d attended. She spoke about the power of the circle and the amazing dichotomy of being in a place filled with hate and love at the very same time.

Listening to her made me think about my experience recently reading Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road. I was moved by her stories of the people she’d met and the experiences she’d had while on the road being a voice for women’s rights. I couldn’t help but be thrilled that my young cousin experienced the listening circle, so similarly described by Steinem. I told my dear friend to find a wonderful bookstore in Brooklyn and buy this book.

The mark of a good book is when you can find a similar thread in one’s life and then recommend the book to that person. At her age, I’m not sure I would have been exciting about this book; but she’s exactly ripe for the reading. That said, at my current age, I loved this book! The stories, the idea of listening circles and the bonds created by womanhood – they resonated in the deepest crevices of my soul; in a most surprising way. I don’t think I was as prepared for reading this book as I’d originally thought. I knew it would be interesting but I didn’t realize the stories would stoke some of the fires that have been kindling within me, as of late.

Grab your favorite drink, sit in your favorite chair and start reading. Trust me.

PS. I’m talking to everyone.

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