LA Times: ‘Resilience’ is ‘Short But Surprisingly Deep’

Elizabeth Edwards’s recent appearances on Oprah and the Today Show have made her the author of the moment. But the media speculation about her motives for writing Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities has largely obscured the question of whether her memoir is actually a good read.

Now, a book review from the Los Angeles Times says the strength of her memoir about facing the loss of her 16-old son, resurgent cancer and marital betrayal by former Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards lies in “how little of it actually has to do with John Edwards’ caddish behavior.” Noting that Edwards emerged from her husband’s shadow in the 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns “on the power of her personality” and her willingness to take her own positions, such as her support of gay marriage, the review calls Resilience “short but surprisingly deep… And when you finish it you have not just a deeper understanding of Elizabeth Edwards but also a better appreciation for the strength of will it can take to survive.”

For those who missed it, here’s a quick recap of the previous coverage. Edwards began her tour with an appearance Oprah, in which she said her feelings for her husband were “complicated,” and later appeared on the Today Show, where Matt Lauer quoted criticism of her book by Maureen Dowd in the New York Times (“it’s just a gratuitous peek into their lives, and one that exposes her kids”) and Sally Quinn in the Washington Post  (who suggests Edwards enabled her husband to cheat).  Tina Brown in The Daily Beast also weighed in; “If she had stuck with her health and her loss, Edwards might have held on to our sympathy. But her insistence on belittling to Oprah the dreaded ‘other woman,’ Rielle Hunter…was so embarrassingly self-righteous it almost made me feel sorry for the Democratic twinkie John.”

The book has been rising on both Amazon (currently at #12) and B&N.com (currently at #12). Libraries show heavy reserving, 15 to 1 in several cases.

Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities
Elizabeth Edwards
Price: $22.95
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Broadway – (2009-05-08)
ISBN-10: 076793136X
ISBN-13: 9780767931366

Also in audio from Random House:

  • ISBN-10: 0307577198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307577191

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