For weeks I’ve been trying to make time to read a collection of short stories titled Bertha And Tillie FOREVER by Fran Lewis, but between editing one book and trying to finish another, I simply haven’t had a chance to slow down the chatter in my head in order to hear someone else’s…until today.
After several failed attempts to settle in and soak up the stories of Bertha and Tillie, I finally found myself sitting in a comfy chair on the back porch traveling through one tale after the other.
This book chronicles Bertha’s childhood, growing up as a young girl struggling with being overweight and the seemingly endless bullying that ensues because of it. As if that weren’t bad enough, Bertha’s sister Tillie seems to be everything Bertha believes she is not – skinny, beautiful and basically perfect. It isn’t until Bertha grows older and wiser that she sees the value in being exactly who she is. In spite of all of their differences, Tillie and Bertha are best friends. They may fight with each other, but it is nothing compared to how they will fight FOR each other.
As Bertha shares her experiences, she not only gives an honest and intimate insight into her personal battles with food and feeling second best, but also offers advice to those who may be going through the same things she went through. Along the way, she also educates us on the dangers of bullying and why it’s so important to stand up for yourself and what you believe in. But perhaps the most important thing Bertha teaches us is a lesson in respect as she developes her own set of rules, that in my opinion shouldn’t be exclusive to school or family settings, but should be a general outline to how we treat each and every person that we come into contact with.
In the final section of this remarkably heartfelt book, Bertha hands the pen to her Grandma Katie. Grandma Katie has Alzheimer’s and every single day she struggles to get from morning to night. Tears welled up in my eyes as I read her heartbreaking story. Of them all, I suppose this was the one that touched me the most, maybe because Alzheimer’s touched my life as well, only I was too young at the time to really understand…
I can only imagine how many boys and girls will read these stories and find the ‘Bertha’ in themselves…and much like Bertha, I hope they realize that they are beautiful and special just the way they are.
For a hearfelt read that will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and have you laughing and crying as you go, download your copy of Bertha and Tilly FOREVER here~ http://amzn.com/B009D6JB2K