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Posted December 26, 2010
Ever thought that Christians seem to have it all their own way? Read Walking in the Deep End, and I can guarantee that you no longer will think so. This inspiring memoir should evoke your deepest emotions and have you empathizing with Susan Parker every inch of the way. Even if you have not personally experienced all that she has been through, it is more likely than not that at least some of your closest friends and family members have. I found that as I read further and further into the book, her life story grabbed my attention more and more, so that, by the end of it, I found as though I had, indeed, been submerged under water for a long, long time.
This book is engrossing. Alright, it's not about any celebrity about whom everybody knows, but the timbre and the depth of Parker's writing leaves one breathless. Bulimia, depression, suicide and divorce are only some of the personal and family crises that Parker is forced to face. And this all despite her religious convictions, which include her being born again and finding a great deal of truth in the Gospel, though less so in the various encounters that she has with different religious communities. Parker remains stoically upbeat despite the tragedies that beset her life-she is neither a cringer nor a whinger, but tackles all issues head on. The work also has its lighter moments, especially to do with her Spanish "family" that she first acquired when she spent a semester studying in Seville. One of the most amusing encounters that she shares with us is, on a later occasion, when her husband, who knows very little Spanish, mistakenly raises his glass to a toast of "Feliz Ano Nuevo!" ("Happy New Anus") rather than to the intended "Felino Año Nuevo!" ("Happy New Year!"). As Parker writes: "Why in the world would any language have such a small difference-a little squiggly tilde over a consonant for such a big difference in meaning?" Apart from laughing out loud at some of the incidents that Parker so wittily describes, it is highly likely that you will find yourself crying over some, too.
Throughout, though, the centrality of Parker's faith buoys her up and carries her along through the darkest of times. We are made very aware, not just by Parker's involvement with sundry church groups, of which she finds the intimacy of a weekend church retreat program called CRHP (Christ Renews His Parish) the most meaningful, but also through her allusions to Christ that are scattered throughout the text, of her deep-rooted convictions about the Christian faith. Her strong awareness of Christ's presence in her life enables her to retain her levelheadedness, even at those times when she feels at her most insecure: "I imagined crying with my head on Jesus' shoulder. He would carry me to a light-filled place where I could see Mike one last time to say good-bye."
Walking in the Deep End is a powerfully evocative and poignant memoir of a woman who has exerted great effort in coming to a profound understanding of her own being, especially in relation to those around her. The memoir deserves to be read by all thinking women, no matter where in the world they are. Revelatory, probing, transforming and transcending the mundane-this work is a gem that deserves to be treasured.
Posted September 24, 2010
This is by far one of my favorite memoirs. Reading Susan's book brought me back to an uncomfortable place. I have had my own struggle with depression and starving myself and looking back on it was painful but necessary. I felt like I was going through it all over again, but this time, I had a friend who was there through it all. I actually feel stronger now and for that, I owe a lot to Walking in the Deep. Anyone who suffers from depression or has a dysfunctional family could really benefit from reading this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 24, 2009
There are not many books that would entice me to relive my own journey! Thank you Susan Parker for the gift of reviewing in a healthy and exciting manner my own struggles and victories!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 23, 2009
Walking in the Deep End is the journey from childhood secrets to adult realities. Susan tells her story in a way that each one of us can relate to. She brings her thoughts, feelings and fears to a personal level with each reader, making us realize that in some point in our own lives, we have felt at least one if not all of these ourselves. The book has just the the right amount of spirituality and humor to keep it interesting and funny. Walking in the Deep End is so personal that after finishing the book the reader feels as though they have a made a new friend. LRWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I could not put this book down. Susan Parker's writing is fresh and honest and the character study and descriptions are rich and raw. She tackles tough subjects but uses humor and a distinct style that drew me into her story. In the end, it's not a preachy prescription for life like so many other memoirs I've read, but is instead a thoughtful book about a journey of self discovery and eventual triumph.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.