In the days before the internet, before blogging and posting and an assortment of social networking options, newspaper readers turned to syndicated columnists for insights into the craziness of life. They read stories that touched them, reminded them that they were not alone, and shared a bit of sanity in an insane world. Writers such as Erma Bombeck and Mike Royko on the national stage and any number of home-town wits on the local scene delivered their experiences and observations in such a way that they became fodder for the next day’s conversation.
That tradition continues with columnist Beverly Beckham of The Boston Globe. Sometimes she writes about others, telling the story of that person’s special gift or moment. Sometimes, she introduces readers to her family members and the influences that shape her life. Always, she touches the human heart.
A collection that was years in the making shares her most personal stories with readers in “The Best of Beverly Beckham.” Her touching reminisces and commentaries bring stories to warm and cozy life as she invites us to meet her family members and those who inspire and encourage her.
Beckham recounts the magazine article excerpted from a book by Dorothy Gilman that inspired her to write even in the face of discouragement. She shares memories of her family, her friends and milestone events in her life. Her perspectives never focus on “Isn’t Beverly wonderful?” or “Isn’t Beverly smart?” Instead, she trains her sights on subjects such as a dress that acted as a time machine to transport her to her childhood, the short but potent sentence that proved her husband’s love and devotion, and the beauty of a love story between two senior citizens.
She tells these stories as though sitting over coffee and cake with an old friend. Her joys and sorrows fill the pages with a human being who has experienced much and treasures every bit of it.
Boston Globe readers have the opportunity to enter Beckham’s world on a regular basis. For the rest of us, “The Best of Beverly Beckham” lets us peek inside and meet a delightful lady with a keen wit. Her beautifully told columns will provide hours of enjoyment and recognition of the commonality of the human condition. If you miss Erma Bombeck, you’ll love Beverly Beckham.
“The Best of Beverly Beckham” by Beverly Beckham
Published by The Boston Globe
Disclaimer: This review is based on a review copy provided by the author or publisher with no restrictions as to content. All opinions are my own.