Just Around the Bend

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Title:Just Around the Bend

Writer: Renée Paule

Publishing House: RPG Publishing

Date of Publication: October 1st 2014

Rating: 5 stars

‘’We speak sweet intentions but our hearts remain silent.’’

Just Around the Bend was the only book by Renée Paule that I hadn’t read and it ended up being my favourite. I love her work, I find that in every book of hers her words speak to me and in Just Around the Bend I found chapters that made me contemplate (once more) on one of the banes of our existence. The Past and its steadfast roots in our lives.

Please, don’t get me wrong. I love the Past. It is what defines us, it makes us who we are as people, as citizens of our countries, of the world we have created for better or for worse. However, it can also become a strict, ever-watchful warden. It can keep us chained to wrong choices, decisions that were never taken and a thousand ‘’what ifs’’ that lead nowhere. I plead guilty to the crime and this is why this book resonated with me to such a degree. I could see myself reflected in the brilliant chapter ‘’Mind Dramas’’ dedicated to the various ways our mind works to keep us glued to the Past. How we spend our lives acting out all the different scenarios in our heads of what may be and, most importantly, what could have been. We all fall into that trap and there is no easy way out.

Another subject that was all to familiar had to do with the social media and the way exposure influences the interactions and relationships in our lives. I understand that we’re all exposed. Of course, the degree varies but even writing a small review is a way of disclosing thoughts and feelings to people we don’t know, people we’ll probably never meet in real life. Our writing uncovers our ways of viewing life and a good or a bad book may even influence our momentary behaviour. Now, I don’t have a Facebook page but even if I had, I’d never accept real life friends. A fraction between two of our friends may cause a fraction in our lives and who needs more drama that has nothing to do with us? We face enough challenges on a daily basis, I don’t think we need an online ordeal as well. Same goes for the various trolls who comment on our posts and reviews, presuming to know everything better than the reviewer. Those people are in dire need of a thing called ‘’life’’ and, incidentally, I can’t even begin to tell you the peace of mind I acquired once I activated the ‘’no comments from non-friends’’ option on Goodreads…

As always, Renée poses the questions in clear, direct and sincere language and doesn’t give us the answers. She provides the material for the readers to think and try to decide. Her books aren’t detrimental ‘’self-help’’ pseudo-manuals but stops on our way to the effort of understanding ourselves and our surroundings. I don’t know what could be more realistically useful than that.

Many thanks to Renée for the opportunity to find a small path towards a healthier way of looking upon certain issues that have weighted me down for too long…

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