By Debra Dane
Life Path Publications, $12.99, 154 pages, 3 stars
Debra Dane’s Bounce Forward explores those life lessons that makes riding the roller coaster of maturation a little smoother. Incorporating the philosophies of Existential, Cognitive and Positive Psychology with the ideologies of Lao Tzu, Jesus, Buddha, Patanjali and Rumi, Dane has wisely molded an easy reading format for young women without the interruption of references.
Beginning with the “big launch”, the author lets us peek at her own first stint at “being on her own”, two thousand miles away from family and friends. She sprinkles personal vignettes that read like journal entries throughout the chapters, which focus on decision-making, loneliness, balance, confidence, happiness, tolerance, etc. The book explores many of the problems that young women have to learn to cope with like dealing with difficult people and unwanted sexual advances while integrating the natural flow of change with the safety of routine.
Learning how hang in there despite the odds, allowing yourself room to be your authentic self while having the confidence to allow for change and growth is the book’s underlying theme.
“Once in a while, you are going to choose a direction even when you don’t know why you are choosing it. And at least once in your lifetime, you are going to do something that someone you care about thinks is a mistake. This will happen, let it happen.”
The book has wonderful insight presented in a warm and gentle tone; however, this reviewer wanted more verbs. It is one thing to tell someone how she should embrace the world around her, it is another to give her the tools to change. Asking someone to name ten things she is grateful for is a much more concrete learning experience than telling someone to be grateful. I would have expected bullets that summarized the main points and exercises of some sort to reinforce the learning. Bold font was used for some terms, which usually indicates a textbook or workbook format. The vignettes have a tendency to vacillate in tense and setting which weakens their impact on the reader and it was difficult in some cases to understand how the vignette connected to the chapter’s message.
Reviewed by Sheli Ellsworth