Book number 2 finished for the year!
I recently read Lean on Me by Anne Marie Miller. This book had been on my radar for a while and I was intrigued since a long time ago I used to follow her when she was Anne Jackson. I have also read some of her other books, but I knew that a lot had changed in her life so I was curious about this book.
I loved that from the beginning she made it clear that this wasn’t going to be a “how to” or a ten steps type book. I agree with her that while there are steps and actions that can be taken in building community there are also so many factors and individual situations. This is a topic that leaves much room for variation. So, instead, Anne takes us through her own realization that she does not have the committed and vulnerable community that she thought she had. She then chronicles what she does in order to create the type of community that she needed at a hard time in her life. The type of community that emerges is varied and comes from all different stages of life for her. She shares this with smaller stories throughout and does not sugar coat the hard parts.
I appreciated that she left the end of the book without a neat little bow. She didn’t say that she’s figured out community or that she’s doing it perfectly. She left room for us all to be in progress on our own paths. Yet, she still highlighted the benefits and the importance of having committed and vulnerable relationships in our lives. There were times I wished I could have heard more about the stories or about her choices. I wanted to know how she handled the boundaries with the people on her team who were men and married. I wanted to know more about the types of interactions they built. But most of that was out of curiosity rather than “needing” to know. The book was still a fun, quick, and engaging read. I found myself evaluating the type of community I have and the type of friend I am to others.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”