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Reviewed by Teodora Totorean for Readers' Favorite
Victim of Circumstance by Douglas Rappaport is an introspective book analyzing, among other things, the possibility of love. Conceived as a memoir, the author recollects defining moments in his life, from his relationship with his mother and her death, to his two failed marriages and his desire to find love and have a family. The possibility of love comes from questioning the validity of his feelings towards his two wives and what would have happened had he chosen another path. The book is organized in chapters around a main idea like mini essays talking about big themes such as love, religion, death, the mystery of the universe and existentialism, and more.
Victim of Circumstance by Douglas Rappaport was refreshing to read as it presents aspects of the author’s life authentically and without a sugar coating. In today’s overly and somehow falsely optimistic books promising endless happiness, reading this book can bring you back down to earth regarding life in general. Life happens with good and bad things, some people are luckier than others and this is a universal truth. Reading a book where the author can distance himself from the unfortunate events in his life and intellectualize his decisions and its effects is a good exercise to start reflecting on your own life.
In my view, the book is essentially existentialist with the right dosage of memoir, personal introspection and philosophical reflection on life and love. As for the writing style, although the narrative has many diversions, the ideas are easy to follow and the author’s voice comes through as if you are talking to him face to face.