Book Reviews

Book Review: The Blessing of Movement by Deborah Konrad

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This book was reviewed for Online Book Club

 

Check out Online Book Club’s review here.

 

Konrad’s The Blessing of Movement is the a poignant look at life, at family, and at the impact we have on people, be it from closeness, or in a brief passing by.  This is the story of her sister, Sandra, and the ripples left from contact with this fierce, bright woman. This story spans decades, from childhood, when baby Deb displaced San as the youngest, and on to adulthood.

All through this story I kept seeing hints of Loki in Sandra’s life, especially the aspects I work with. It’s how we view life, after all, through the lens of our own perceptions. Loki is known as the Lord of Laughter, and one of His strongest lessons, so oft overlooked, is to laugh at life, especially aspects you can’t change. Sometimes you get dealt suck-ass hands in the game of life. You can harbour bitterness and burn out quickly, or you can see things for the cosmic joke it is, laugh your way through it, and enrich not only your own life, but those around you as well. Sandra also displayed another trait of the Trickster, manifesting in an ability to skilfully manipulate others. Then, there’s the potential for fiery destructiveness, the darker side of Loki’s energy, seen in her descent to criminal activity.

 

A crippling accident changed things for Sandra, marking a point where bitterness could have completely consumed her. I can respect the abruptness of such tragedy, and the struggle to cope with the aftermath. At age 20, I lost an eye. The vision in the remaining one is compromised, and learning to adapt to a severe loss of independence can be trying for the patient, but equally, for the family.

 

Despite the decades difference, I really resonated with Konrad’s observation that society overall tends to prefer those gifted in the ‘hard’ sciences. Like her, I excelled in the creative sciences, while doing well in physical sciences and decent enough in math. My younger siblings overshadowed me in those areas, and today I am a patent disappointment to my blood family despite being the only one in the family to attain a PhD. I am an author, anthropologist, philosopher, metaphysicist, and I taught ethics, cultural awareness, and mythic studies for a decade, none of which matter one whit to them. I digress, but clearly the author succeeded in touching a chord, striking resonance. The proper goal of authors of any stripe!

 

The further observation that parents do their best, yet come into the game with their own wounds, which tend to get passed on also rang true. I’ve been able to step back some, to see the psychological wounds given me by my parents, and observe how they themselves received some variation. I wish schools focused more on psychological skills and communications skills for both genders, at a young age. Perhaps these patterns of transference could be short-circuited.

 

I love the humour suffused within this touching tale. Much of the story was of interest to me as an anthropologist as well. This was an eye-opening insight into a specific intersection between culture and time unfamiliar to me in many ways. I really enjoyed the photos scattered throughout, which helped bring this family to full life.

 

The manuscript could do with another good proofing. There were a scattering of spelling and grammar errors, and times when words or phrases were repeated very close together. The story is engaging enough that these are easily glossed over in the mind.

 

🎻🎻🎻🎻 Recommended

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