Above all, I found this book to be a lesson in dignity. The way one woman could take what was handed to her and make a good life, despite tragedy, was nothing short of inspiring. ~ Leigh, Guilty Pleasures
Too ambitious for her small Illinois town, Iris is determined to see the world with Washington, DC as the first stop. Her plans are curtailed when she marries a handsome young soldier and though apart for long stretches by WWII, they have two boys. Tragically widowed and back home, her youngest in braces from polio, Iris prepares herself for the challenges ahead.
OPTIONED AS MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
Review copy provided for an honest review
Too Early for Flowers is the brave and encouraging tale of Iris Sipolski. Intent on escaping her small town and traveling the world, the book begins with Iris’ return home as a young widowed mother. Along with her two sons, one of whom had been struck by polio, Iris re-enters the small town life she escaped years before.
Rather than feeling discontentment at the hand she has been dealt, Iris shows that she is a woman of true grit, forging ahead with a new life for herself and her sons, Jimmy and Gray. Her determination is not only to make a happy life for her family, but one where she teaches her son Gray to live in a world where she knows accommodations will not be made for his disability. Iris’ resolve to treat Gray as normally as possible shapes the man he becomes.
I found Iris’ bravery and ability to go on, in the face of unimaginable tragedies, to be one that was both encouraging and humbling. Kurt Sipolski perfectly captured the essence of how the world viewed Iris when he stated that “the women would look directly into her eyes in sadness and blame at her tragedy, and hope there was something different about her than them.” She lived in a world where no one wanted to believe that the tragedies that befell her could happen to them, and there must be a reason to explain why these things happened to her. If for no other reason than so other people could feel that it could never happen to them.
Iris takes lessons from her past but lives in the present. She does not wallow in self pity, but puts her efforts into raising her children to be understanding and compassionate men. Her treatment of her son as though he did not have a disability allowed Gray to view himself as no different than anyone else, and molded the person he grew to be. I found the fact that the reason Iris finally did get to travel the world was as a result of Gray’s (or rather, Kurt’s) success to be a validation of the job she did in raising a child with polio.
Above all, I found this book to be a lesson in dignity. The way one woman could take what was handed to her and make a good life, despite tragedy, was nothing short of inspiring.