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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
What a fun read you’ll find in Lori B. Duff’s You Know I Love You Because You’re Still Alive! Although some readers might not like the fact that Lori checks her troop of kids out of a “nasty hotel” and into a clean Holiday Inn, how many of us wouldn’t do the same as long as we can afford it? Or who among us hasn’t thought that mowing the lawn in killer heat is stupid and wished there was a way to rid ourselves of such an awful job, only to find we couldn’t come up with a better or more affordable way to ease the task? And then there are those “common courtesies” that seem to have disappeared in this rushed, modern world, like holding a door open for someone coming behind you, or letting someone go ahead of you in the grocery line if they have only one item and you have a full cart?
If you’re honest with yourself like Lori is, you won’t deny wishing you could have one deep sleep in which your husband’s snoring doesn’t keep you awake. Nor will you deny doing a double-take when your 13-year-old son decides he’d like to have his ears pierced! And really, have you never thought your son or daughter is the most talented, most intelligent or most beautiful child around? If you haven’t, it’s a pity you haven’t found something to be proud of in your offspring. Somehow, that’s impossible to believe…or alternately, very sad.
Of course, one could say, “Well I don’t tell the world about how I feel about everything in a book!” But here’s the thing: by writing so honestly about what she feels and observes, Lori B. Duff speaks to and about a huge number of parents who will find themselves thinking Lori sounds so much like them that they could have written You Know I Love You Because You’re Still Alive. Lori’s ramblings, if you want to call them that, are like those favourite newspaper columns that give readers a needed break from all the bad news bombarding us in the media. They are welcome relief. So is Duff’s book: she’s simply published all those “columns” in one very entertaining collection.
Lori B. Duff has the guts and ability to capture human reactions to everyday life cleverly, honestly and humorously. An objective reader recognizes that ability and applauds it, enjoying for instance her son’s argument for getting his ears pierced: “Earrings on a boy are not alternative or counter-culture or rebellious like they were when the earth was still cooling and I was thirteen.” Statements like that make you sit back and laugh, not at Lori B. Duff, but with her as you also laugh at yourself…if you’re honest and, above all, objective.