Friday, April 3, 2009

Book Review: Bittersweet

In his memoir Bittersweet: Confessions of a Twice Married Man, Canadian journalist Philip Lee chronicles how he fell in love with a coworker while married to his wife, how he decided to move into an old house with his also divorced brother, how he took care of his kids and started a new family.

Throughout the book, the reader can feel for Lee. He has spent a lot of time contemplating while his marriage failed and why he fell in love with someone else. He consults experts and historical literature to help him get through, and he constantly reminds the reader of his motto with his second wife Deb: love is a verb.

You can also tell Lee is a great father and that he deeply loves his children. Some of the most touching scenes include Lee sobbing after his children leave to go live with their mother.

My favorite part of the book is "Making for Home," where Lee describes his and Deb's journey to adopt a daughter from China named Lucy Xiao Ru. Lee expertly details the adoption process and his plight to become a father to a baby again after raising three teenagers.

Being a journalist, Lee is an ace at describing his surroundings. I don't think I've ever felt so much like I was right there with an author than I have while reading Bittersweet. Whether he is describing the squirrel infested old house he lived in with his brother near the Bay of Fund;, the sights and sounds of busy Nanchang, China; or a fun-filled wedding on a Grecian island, you feel like you're there where Lee is.