Title: Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Published: September 2015
This weeks post will be written by none other than Marlene Scheel, she is an avid reader and loves to read the latest and greatest novels. At the moment she is reading After You by Jojo Moyes. When I asked her if she would be willing to write a guest post on the blog, she agreed without hesitation. Without further ado, here is this weeks review written by our fantastic guest. I hope you enjoy, and I will be back next week with a new post!
Until next time,
This is a very interesting and well written book which highlights the importance of living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear. Elizabeth encourages us through story telling and reassurances that life would be boring if not for risk, adventure and failures. If you have always wanted to ….fill in the blank…paint, sing, travel. write, whatever your dream, Elizabeth is encouraging us to do just that throughout this book. You only live once so why not. If you are not successful, if you fail, at least you tried and at least you had that experience. Otherwise, she is saying you will live with regret, fear and what ifs. She talks about the concept that ideas exist in the universe, waiting to cling on to someone so that they can be executed. If no one takes the risk to latch onto this ideas then they continue to float around waiting and hoping to be put into action. Balancing between practical everyday life and curiosity and adventure is what makes for a rich, fulfilled life. Don’t let fear slow you down or stand in the way of a different, bolder path. Have the courage to move forward or even sideways if that is where your dreams will take you!
Who was my favourite character and why?
Though this book is more of a narrative by Elizabeth, she shares many great stories with us. My favourite story is about Susan, the figure skater. At 40 years old Susan took up figure skating. Susan had figure skated as a child and loved it but hadn’t skated in years. She had given it up as a teenager when it became clear she wasn’t the best. Elizabeth talks about how it is unfortunate that society tells us that if we are not the champion then why bother. After some soul searching around her 40th birthday, Susan decided this was the one thing that made her excited in life. It was an outlet through which she could express her creativity and express herself!
Were the characters relatable and/or believable?
Yes, the various examples that the author shared with us were very relatable. How many times have you heard a story about someone’s life and think how that sounds like me. The author talks about her father’s nickname for her when she was a little girl. Pitiful Pearl. Elizabeth was so afraid of everything and so “woe is me” that her father referred to her by this name. Eventually one day, as a teenager, she woke up and decided enough is enough- this is boring! She unleashed her creative side and decided to live life.
Did the story keep you on the edge of your seat?
I wouldn’t necessarily say on the edge of my seat but it certainly kept my attention and I was really curious to read on and hear more examples of how Elizabeth and others conquered their fears and made the decision to take a risk. I think the author did a good job of sharing her personal insights of what she has learned throughout her life coupled with examples of various, interesting people she has met along the way. If you have read Eat, Pray, Love also by Elizabeth Gilbert, you will know that she has not lived a dull life. But by reading this book, you will realize that she did not come to that life easily and without a lot of fear, trepidation and angst. We all have these traits, (risk, creativity, adventure) it is what we do or don’t do with them that is the key message here. If you don’t act on them, someone else will. Will you be proud of others for their accomplishments or will you be kicking yourself for not seizing the moment yourself. Only you can answer that question.
Something I would change about the novel?
I wouldn’t change anything about this book. It is a tad repetitive but she shares enough different examples and compelling stories that you overlook that.
Overall, I would give this novel 3.5 out of 5 tea mugs.
Until next time,
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