On-line Book Club Review

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of “Life Is Just A Bowl Of Choices” by Robyn Russell.]

Book Cover

3 out of 4 stars

The direction our life takes is most times determined by choices; ours or those of others. Realizing this confronts us with the stark reality of responsibility, of knowing we cannot blame others for our lot in life, real or perceived. Life is Just a Bowl of Choices tells the author’s story; the choices she has made through life and how they have shaped the life she has had so far.

Robyn got pregnant at seventeen and kept the baby; because she felt she had no choice but to do so. Her decision to have her son Ian so early and when she wasn’t prepared for motherhood limited her choices to an extent as she now had someone whose life depended on her. Through the years, she has had to make more decisions; getting married, getting a step-daughter, ending friendships, getting an abortion, changing jobs, and caring for her sick mother-in-law. She shares her experiences and how the choices she made affected the lives of both herself and her loved ones in this book.

I love the style the author has used in telling this story. Rather than follow a chronological order, she has sections that talk about the various aspects of her life; her childhood, her marriage, her relationship with her step-daughter. Occasionally, in one section of the book, she refers to other sections. For me, writing like this gave the story clarity and made it easy to piece together and understand the puzzle this book might have been.

I also loved the fact that the author was honest about her mistakes and regrets what she has decided are the wrong choices she made in life. Some of these wrong choices led to her losing important relationships, and she wishes she could have them back. She is also honest in stating at the beginning that her account might not accurately represent what really happened as they are her own opinion of events.

No doubt this book forces the discerning reader to take a candid look at their own lives and identify what they might be doing wrong. Years down the line, would being right have been worth losing that friend or family member over, perhaps forever? Would dating and having unplanned kids with that gorgeous guy or lady who swears they love you but never seems to find the commitment bone in his or her body be the best decision for you? As this book’s title aptly puts it, life is a bowl of choices.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. As much as I loved the writing, there were some parts where the paragraphs were written like entries in a diary, without the dates. I found it rather confusing to have several todays and nows and last nights, all referring to very different points in time. I was left trying to figure out where each time fit, and I didn’t succeed every time. Nonetheless, I recommend this book to every memoir lover. I enjoyed it and you might also do.