Wednesday, September 21, 2011

David and the Old Man by William Zemba

David and the Old Man is a real life story centered around the Zemba family and how one family member, David, suffered with anorexia nervosa.  It is a story of family roles, generational ties, and of long suffering.  Intertwined throughout is a message of faith and God's hand of grace and restoration.

Right away I began to feel drawn into the story, narrated by William Zemba,  a son to the old man and a brother to David.  The way he describes life and his family made me feel like I was sitting across from him, listening to a deeply heartfelt and important story.  

The story of David's anorexia was heartbreaking.  The book served to also educate people on anorexia nervosa, which I feel the author did a great job on.  I have professionally worked with clients with anorexia and the family systems and dynamics around those individuals has a huge impact on their sickness.  Mr. Zemba describes this in great detail, especially David's relationship with his father (the old man.)

I was captivated by all of the side-stories, the roles and traditions throughout the generations, and the fascinating people in the Zemba family.  The story was harrowing at times and I became stressed over the sheer magnitude of problems that this family faced,  but I am glad that I kept going to experience the end.

David and the Old Man is probably twice as long as it could of been, full of details extraneous to the main story, and often a little random. I felt that the use of other narrators to collaborate the story was redundant and affected the flow of the book.  Personally, I feel that none of that took away from the main story, which is well worth reading.  I feel that Mr. Zemba did an amazing job at portraying something so complex and  personal.

My favorite aspect of the book was the teaching.  William shared so much wisdom from the bible and from his heart.  This is a man who has been through so much, and is serving others through the telling of this story.  His practical advice regarding choices, weathering storms, and hearing the voice of God was the best part of the book. 

This book was provided to me for free by Book Sneeze, contingent on providing an unbiased review.

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