Books

Letter to My Daughter: Book Review

Author: Maya Angelou

Letter to My Daughter

Book Blurb:

For a world of devoted readers, a much-awaited new volume of absorbing stories and inspirational wisdom from one of our best-loved writers.

Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals Maya Angelou’s path to living well and living a life with meaning. Told in her own inimitable style, this book transcends genres and categories: guidebook, memoir, poetry, and pure delight.

Here in short spellbinding essays are glimpses of the tumultuous life that led Angelou to an exalted place in American letters and taught her lessons in compassion and fortitude: how she was brought up by her indomitable grandmother in segregated Arkansas, taken in at thirteen by her more worldly and less religious mother, and grew to be an awkward, six-foot-tall teenager whose first experience of loveless sex paradoxically left her with her greatest gift, a son.

Whether she is recalling such lost friends as Coretta Scott King and Ossie Davis, extolling honesty, decrying vulgarity, explaining why becoming a Christian is a “lifelong endeavor,” or simply singing the praises of a meal of red rice–Maya Angelou writes from the heart to millions of women she considers her extended family.

Like the rest of her remarkable work, Letter to My Daughter entertains and teaches; it is a book to cherish, savor, re-read, and share.

My Review:

This is the first book of Maya Angelou that I have read. I immensely loved her writing style, the book felt like a private conversation between her and me.

I especially loved the message that she gave at the end of each chapter, it was humbling to see how bad things can make a beautiful person.

Some of the messages that I absolutely loved were:

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

“A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.”

“I am never proud to participate in violence, yet, I know that each of us must care enough for ourselves, that we can be ready and able to come to our own defense when and wherever needed.”

The best part of the book is that as a reader, we learn from her experiences, but this learning seeps gradually into our consciousness, and in no way makes us feel like somebody is preaching to us and making us learn.

Who do I recommend it to? Everybody, the simplicity of the language and the complexity of the thoughts would make this an ideal read for the nuance and experienced readers alike.

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