Papa's Pearls is a fun, easy-to-read book by Diane Flynn Keith, and I am glad that I was picked to be one of the reviewers for this little gem. "Papa" was what Diane's father was called by children and grandchildren alike, and Ms. Keith does a wonderful job of including stories from each of the generations about him. It is clear from the story that he loved his family (and they knew it) and is loved by his family still (though he is gone now.)
|Buttercup "reading" like Mom. She's getting there!|
The story is a sweet way to pass on Papa's sayings (the "pearls") and life lessons, and to share those lessons with the world at large. I was drawn into this book, and throughout every chapter found myself thinking, "That's a good way to illustrate that lesson," or "I like that saying, I have to remember to use it in our house more often!"
In short: the book, lessons, and stories stick with you when you've put the book down - which is (in my bloggety-unhumbled opinion) a sign of a good book, be it short or long. This book can easily be read in a few hours, or for a faster reader perhaps even in just one hour. But I took my time with it. I read a chapter or two here or there as I was putting Mr. Magoo down for a nap, or while sitting and relaxing after dinner. I read parts out loud to the kids or they would sometimes read for themselves.
I found in reading it more slowly I was able to better digest and remember the points I wanted to keep with me. Ms. Keith tells stories of Papa and her mother making sure to take time not only for family lessons, but also family fun; he included time for adult socializing and relaxation as well - and she recounts that as an adult, when her life was so busy, he encouraged her again to slow down, take some time and relax because "life is short."
She included sayings like, "What's the worst thing that can happen?" to encourage she and her siblings to give new ideas a go, without fear. Or "Let it go - like water off a duck's back," meaning: don't let tough things get to you.
One lesson I found myself passing on to my son the other day when we were working on a particularly unpleasant job was, "Tell yourself you like it." This lesson was one he imparted to help himself, the employees in his plumbing business and his children get through particularly gross jobs.
The "Pearls" in this book are lessons many of us know. The messages are the profound "little" things that we learn as we take each step through our own lives, but the difference is in the presentation. Each lesson is given with a saying that can be held on to and used again and again - to stick in the minds of our children and friends as we too make our walks through life.
Papa's Pearls is a small book, but one I really enjoyed. At around $22 for an autographed copy (or $15 for a non-autographed copy), it's a good book to have two of: one for yourself, one to pass out as a gift to youngsters leaving home for college, or to friends. Click on the "Papa's Pearls" logo at the top of this blog post to go to the page for the book, the blog and all associated with it.