I goobled this book up in two and half days. It was wonderful. Funny and real, I found myself laughing out loud. Thinking back to encounters I had with strangers and wondering what their lives where like.
This is a book I want to keep, so when I feel blue I can read it again and again. It doesn't solve the world's problems, but has so many sweet simple lessons. It makes you think, how many times a day do I have an opportunity to learn or share? Do I take those opportunities? Beth has blessed us ALL, simply by being Beth as she was created.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this book for a book group. I ended up missing the discussion but was so involved in the book that I finished it anyway and loved it. It has so many good messages and really makes you think about the people around you and the way you view life. Definitely a worthwhile read, and clean, too.
This is the true story of an older sister who decided to connect with her mentally disabled younger sister by doing what she loves to do...ride the city buses. The adventures they have and the people they meet are heartwarming and always interesting. Intertwined in the story are flashbacks of their childhood, not always so pretty. I heartily recommend this book...a great read and a chance to stop and smell the roses.
This perceptive, uplifting chronicle shows how much Simon, a creative writing professor at Bryn Mawr College, had to learn from her mentally retarded sister, Beth, about life, love and happiness. Beth lives independently and is in a long-term romantic relationship, but perhaps the most surprising thing about her, certainly to her (mostly) supportive family, is how she spends her days riding buses. Six days a week (the buses don't run on Sundays in her unnamed Pennsylvania city), all day, she cruises around, chatting up her favorite drivers, dispensing advice and holding her ground against those who find her a nuisance. Rachel joined Beth on her rides for a year, a few days every two weeks, in an attempt to mend their distanced relationship and gain some insight into Beth's daily life. She wound up learning a great deal about herself and how narrowly she'd been seeing the world. Beth's community within the transit system is a much stronger network than the one Rachel has in her hectic world, and some of the portraits of drivers and the other people in Beth's life are unforgettable. Rachel juxtaposes this with the story of their childhood, including the dissolution of their parents' marriage and the devastating abandonment by their mother, the effect of which is tied poignantly to the sisters' present relationship. Although she is honest about the frustrations of relating to her stubborn sister, Rachel comes to a new appreciation of her, and it is a pleasure for readers to share in that discovery.
Very moving story of how two sisters approach and embrace life. Beth, with mild mental retardation, enjoys every moment of her day, while her single sister Rachel lives in an emotional void, keeping busy with her life as a writer and professor. Beth teaches us all how to seize the moment! A good read, not too sappy, but will pull your heartstrings.