Most helpful positive review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Moving -- and very timely
on October 9, 2001
I read Bridges' "Transitions" about four years ago, when I had just been laid off unexpectedly from my job, and I found it extremely helpful and reassuring. So I bought this book mostly out of curiosity how Bridges himself would handle one of life's most painful transitions. He begins by alternating between an autobiographical account of his wife's final illness and death, and more theoretical chapters discussing transitions in general. But as the story continues with his stunned reaction to her death, and his attempts to embark on the next phase of his life, the personal and the theoretical merge. I was impressed by his honesty -- he's candid about his self-doubts, about himself and his late wife (warts and all), and about the joys and struggles in their 37-year marriage. This made his story all the more compelling by showing him not as the all-knowing "expert," but as someone who's gained his expertise from hard-won personal experience. As he points out repeatedly, life changes don't follow a neat, predictable pattern; but if we embrace the process of transition and are open to what it brings, everything DOES work out eventually (his tentative, bumbling attempts at dating a casual acquaintance develop into love and a second marriage). The book is a fascinating story, but along the way I learned a great deal about life transitions in general (every parent should read his remarks about planning your children's lives!). And at a time when we in the US have just gone through a painful transition ourselves, and are struggling to redefine ourselves and our role in the world, I found his remarks surprisingly relevant on a larger scale too.