Writing a book of quotes takes courage because the line between inspired and hackneyed is very thin. For the most part, Cheryl Strayed's "Brave Enough" manages not to cross that line. Her quotes are intended to comfort the bereaved and broken-hearted, keep the ambitious focused, and help the lost find their way home. But why write a book about quotes? According to Strayed, quotes "tell us we’re not alone. Their existence is proof that others have questioned, grappled with, and come to know the same truths we question and grapple with, too." They are powerful because "Quotes, at their core, almost always shout 'Yes!'"
Strayed addresses many topics in this book. Fear, is one. Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do one thing every day that scares you." Strayed says, "Hello, fear. Thank you for being here. You’re my indication that I’m doing what I need to do." Forgiveness is another. "Forgiveness doesn’t just sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up the hill."
Some of Strayed's prose falls flat, for example: "Don’t own other people’s crap," and "You’re here. So be here." Some is absolutely stunning and it is this prose that makes "Brave Enough" good enough: "I’ll never know and neither will you about the life you didn’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore."
Print Length: 160 pages
Publisher: Knopf (October 27, 2015)
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
Sold by: Random House LLC