October 14, 2011

Chicken Soup for the Single's Soul

Now that I'm newly single again and not enjoying it very much, I decided to give this a read to see if it could help. It had some nice stories, but unfortunately there weren't really any I could identify with. But hey, it passed the time and got my mind off things for awhile I guess.

Like most of the Chicken Soup books, this one has a bunch of stories separated into type. In this case its Single and Happy, Dating, Finding Your Mate, Making a Difference, Single Parenting, Single Again, Losing a Partner, We Are Not Alone, Friends and Family, and of course the lengthy stuff there always seems to be at the back. All the stories are meant to be inspirational and uplifting and there is a wide variety of people telling their experiences. Since this one is for the Single's Soul it of course has stories of divorce, raising the kids alone, losing a spouse, never having found your special someone, and other like themes.

Some of the types of stories to be found in this compilation are those of single parents struggling to make ends meet for their kids and the kindness from strangers that was given to them. Another story might talk of how a person adjusted after the death of their spouse. I think one of the stories that most resonated with me was the story of the woman who could only afford to live in a trailer park, yet still with her meager earnings managed to create a small library and bake bread for the even poorer families around her, mostly for their children. Her desire to do this eventually led her to her new career and a happy life. That was really inspiring to me. Another story that I particularly enjoyed was that of a single man constantly looking for the perfect woman, and finally finding acceptance with just being by himself. That was the type of story I really looked for in this book. But there were others I enjoyed for sure, those that talked of having the strength to leave and how they put their life back on track after they left the relationship, those that did find true love even after they thought they'd never have it again.

Despite all these wonderful stories, I found a few things that I didn't like as well. Mainly, the book didn't really have anything I could identify with. And there were more stories about moving on to find that new special someone than there was just about accepting the state of singleness. More appropriately this might have been called Chicken Soup for the Returning to Dating's Soul. There were even some stories in here from happily married people that didn't really have anything to do with being single.

To me, I consider the chicken soup series to be a form of Christian fiction, and as such there is a lot of religion incorporated into the story about praying, etc. They aren't all like that, but its a predominant theme. But since the stories are meant to be inspirational that can be expected. They are organized well and I'll admit that a few made tears come to my eyes, but I didn't have any full out crying in this one like I have with some of the others.

Its a good book, don't get me wrong. But it just didn't satisfy what I was looking for.

Chicken Soup for the Single's Soul
Copyright 1999
387 pages

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