Life Happens: And Other Unavoidable Truths

Connie Schultz, Author Random House (NY) $22.95 (279p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6497-7
Pulitzer Prize-winning Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Schultz has been compared to Anna Quindlen and Molly Ivins, but as this collection of dozens of her columns shows, she's not a pale imitator; her focus is local (her family, her marriage, her state), but her observations resound across the country. Organized topically, the book's sections include ""Love in the Middle Ages,"" about her marriage to Ohio congressman Sherrod Brown; ""Family Values,"" with tales about her loving but complex family and background; and ""Keeping the Faith,"" a selection of liberal religious columns best summed up by one of the columns' headlines: ""It's Not Christian to Champion Hate."" The most powerful work is culled from Schultz's columns on the war in Iraq and its effects as felt in Ohio. Attending a mass for a fallen Marine, Schultz writes, ""We stand near the lifeless remains of our beloved, so grief-stricken we can barely breathe when, suddenly, we look up and behold the face of someone we can't quite believe took the time to find us in our darkest hour."" Schultz's humor and eloquence, along with her anger with-and affection for-contemporary America, make this collection an intelligent and affecting read.
Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 279 pages - 978-0-8129-7568-0
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 265 pages - 978-1-58836-536-1
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