Bright Side of the Road: A Spiritual Journey Through Breast Cancer
by Anne Marie Bennett

KaleidoSoul Media, 2009. ISBN 978-1-442-17388-0.
Reviewed by Sharon Lippincott
Posted on 08/15/2010

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: lifelessons; Nonfiction: Faith/Spirituality/Inspiration

Breast cancer touches us all. Most of us will never experience it directly, but nearly everyone knows someone who is going or has gone through it. Anne Marie Bennett's book, Bright Side of the Road: A Spiritual Journey Through Breast Cancer," demystifies both disease and treatment and serves as a road map for support teams.

Nevertheless, I didn't pick up this book because of the cancer content. The words "Spiritual Journey" caught my eye and prompted me to read it. I'm a sucker for spiritual journey accounts. Even so, in spite of the mystically beautiful image on the cover and the intriguing title, I opened it with a bit of trepidation. Who knew what horrors I'd be wading through?

I needn't have worried. Even in the darkest moments, when Bennett was discouraged and depleted from seemingly endless treatments, faith, hope and light glimmers through her account. This is not a story of tears and despair. Yes, she cried. Yes, I often shed tears too, but they were tears of empathy and compassion, not grief.

Bennett's use of a time-stamped journal entry style takes us through her journey in an orderly flow, guiding us through her inner journey. Frequent references to sitting with her journal during treatment amplify the ring of truth in her account. Such a book would probably not be possible without a robust journal to anchor the memories and keep them available for future use, yet these are no ordinary journal entries. Layers of reflection and insight can only result from extended contemplation.

Bennett felt transformed by her experience. She became more self-aware and self-confident. Her journey through cancer provided the time and distance she needed to re-evaluate her life and make subtle career changes that allowed time for writing and art work. The results should provide strong encouragement for anyone who has been or will be diagnosed with any form of cancer, and her insights on the types of support that helped her the most are valuable guidance for those of us on the sidelines.

Read an excerpt from this book.

Anne Marie Bennett is a writer, artist, follower of rainbows, soul server and SoulCollage® Facilitator. Her BS degree in Education is from Southern Connecticut State University and she has taught children, teens and adults throughout the East Coast. She passionately believes that we are all lit from within, and that a breast cancer diagnosis is not the end of the road. Anne Marie lives, laughs, writes, sings, dreams and dances in Beverly, Massachusetts. Visit her website.

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