I strongly recommend this book to everyone, but especially to those who may be feeling down about the condition of the world, or their own lives/families, or whatever. You do not need to know anything at all about ‘Abdu’l-Baha or the Baha’i Faith to find this book of use.
A few weeks ago, the author was visiting family in the town where my mother lives. She met him, bought the book and raved about it. Last week, while I was visiting her, I started reading and I finished this today.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS BOOK!!!
Baha’is are so lucky since we have so many things to read that are Divinely Authored. As 2012 was the hundredth anniversary of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s visit to North America, there have been all kinds of commemorations, online and otherwise (you need to seek out the film, Luminous Journey by Anne & Tim Perry, immediately!). We have transcribed talks and so much else. This book is DIFFERENT.
This book is pulled from the myriad observations and stories, even press articles of those who met Him during His travels and from it I got a much better picture of how He was with everyone, His sense of humour, everything. Many of the remembrances in this book recount how non-Baha’is everywhere reacted to His presence, including those whose motives were perhaps less than pure and even those who had actively persecuted Him. I had to read this book with my hanky in my hand because I was brought to tears so often.
My own dear mother, when first she mentioned the book to me on the telephone, said she had “been travelling with ‘Abdu’l-Baha ” all weekend as she was reading, and one does get such a sense of being with Him during that time. I find it so inspiring; really looking at my own behavior & the many, many ways I fall short but even so, I don’t feel down about it, just rather glad that I can continue to strive.
I may even contact the author and ask to do an audiobook recording of it myself. It would be a major undertaking but so worthwhile!!! Redman has so skillfully woven together and edited all the many stories and remembrances that he, the author, has seemed to disappear into the text. Not only this, but his documentation of each and every happening recounted is exhaustive and thorough; a marvelous compendium for further reading! My mother reported that the author is working on his next book, one about Shoghi Effendi. I can hardly wait for its publication!
I have several friends that I wish to give this book to because I think they will gain much happiness from it – there can be no higher recommendation for a book than that from me.