We are all products of our environment, so I love hearing people's life stories and digesting what shaped them into who they are. Some rise above their situation and some follow in the footsteps of their parents. Each story is as original as the person. All the Pretty Things by Edit Wadsworth is the story of a child born into extreme poverty in the Appalachian Mountains, with an alcoholic father. You can see right from the very beginning that Wadsworth's father was a product of his family, who all struggled with poverty, addiction, and criminal behavior.
It was heartbreaking to see how even when her father let her down Edie still idolized him. It made me mad at him for putting himself first always, but showed Edie's own compassion and how she was able to separate her dad from his addiction.
Wadsworth took a different path and rose above her circumstances and was one of the first in her line of relatives to finish high school. She then went on to become a doctor.
The book was fascinating but I felt it begin to rush over things towards the middle and left several big holes. I know part of the issue is that Wadsworth omitted some names and parts of the story to protect the people she loves, but that left very stale descriptions of her first marriage and her motherhood journey. I learned very little about her first husband or why their marriage was doomed from the start. I didn't have any idea of where the kids were as she studied and graduated medical school or while she practically lived at the hospital during her days as a medical student. It took a lot away from the story and I found myself distracted.
In the end Wadsworth tells us how she found God. On page 134 she writes: "the
painful parts of our lives are often the very things that God will use
as gifts to bless and change us and the people we meet" which basically boils down to what this book is about. Our pain often has a purpose and it's up to us to figure out how to use our pain for good.
This book was given to me by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.