About the book:
Like the rest of us, you didn't come with an owner's manual. You'll probably wonder – more than once – why you're here. What is your life's purpose? How will you face the adversity your life will surely bring?
Despite appearances, no one's life is ever simple. We have our parents and our friends to learn from; they have much to teach us. And you'll hear a lot from, and about, public figures – athletes, newscasters, actors, politicians, artists…celebrities of every kind.
But making sense of the world we live in is something each one of us struggles with. The truth is, life is complicated. It's wonderful; it's awful; it's a thrill; it's a bore. And it can feel almost unbearable at times. Almost.
Fortunately, you're blessed with a family that loves you. Your grandfather, Tom McQueen, wrote you this book. No one has all the answers, but he's already faced many of the challenges you'll encounter.
Even those of us who've been around awhile can learn a thing or twelve from your grandpa. He's helped a lot of folks as a therapist; he's inspired audiences with his seminars; and he's shared his thoughts in several other books.
In these letters to you, Ethan, your grandpa reveals the mistakes and miracles that have shaped his life. Anyone can give advice, but true wisdom is hard-won. And the book you're holding contains plenty of it
I enjoyed this short book of advice from one generation to another. Each letter is about four pages long and focuses on one topic. The topics include faith, heroism, will, integrity, conflict, prayer, fear and miracles. There is often a short anecdote from the author's life, some advice for his grandson and then a poem, story or other writing from popular culture. There is the story of the boy born a premie who described the smell of rain as the smell of God when you laid on his chest. "Footprints" made the book, along with "The Man in the Glass" and Psalm 23.
The author is Catholic and writes about his faith, but I wouldn't necessarily call it a religious book, though Ethan is urged to love God and practice his faith.
I think Letters to Ethan: A Grandfather's Legacy of Life & Love would make a nice graduation or confirmation gift for a teen. I read the whole book in a couple of hours but the way it is written makes it ideal for someone to read a letter a day. Grade: B.