Before You’re Not Little Anymore #BookReview

Book: Before You’re Not Little Anymore
Author: Vinodini Parimi

There are a million things we want to teach our children, a million things we want them to know, to learn, to remember, specially when they are flying the nest. Is it even possible to put it all down in a book? How on earth do you condense the gyan you spout liberally throughout the day when your children are near you into just 26 short letters?

Also, how do you keep your letters personal while also making them universal? Vinodini Parimi manages to do that with moderate success.

Before You’re Not Little Any More is a collection of 26 letters from a mother to a son. 

Starting off with a letter on managing anger, the book goes on to touch upon topics like handling emotions, loneliness, friendships, infatuations as well as tougher topics like seeking happiness, the true value of trust and that of life.

What I loved

The book is divided into 26 chapters, each a letter on a single topic. The chapters are short, easy to read and digest.

The best thing about this book is that it comes straight from the heart – like a chat between a mother and a son, which is what it essentially is.

The author picks instances from her own life and uses them to pass on these valuable lessons. She talks about friends and relatives, perhaps some of them who are known to her son, which adds to the authenticity of the letters. Yet she doesn’t make the reader feel like an outsider perhaps because we’ve known similar people and can identify with the situations.

I specially loved the letter on friendship, probably because my own children are just entering the phase where friends are beginning to play larger roles in their likes and dislikes. She talks with amazing clarity on the importance of having boundaries with friends, or learning to appreciate different traits in different people rather than completely idolising a single person and trying to become him/her. She also talks about how friendships change and how it’s okay for you or your friend to move on. 

She includes some very practical tips too, simple things like keeping a pocket diary to avoid overwhelm and help one prioritise, or ideas to cheer oneself up should one feel sad and depressed. I would have loved more of these coping strategies.

What could have been better

I have already said that writing a book like this is a bit of mammoth task. And that’s where it falters. In its bid to pack in a lot, some lessons get lost in the telling. Some posts meander and overlap, though I do get that that is inevitable.

Last thought: One mustn’t attempt to read the book in a single sitting. These lessons are best read one at a time, slowly, over days, in order to fully appreciate each one. The book works better as a sort of ready reckoner. Each lesson will make sense at a particular juncture in life.

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of the book in return of an honest review.

14 Replies to “Before You’re Not Little Anymore #BookReview”

  1. Love your balanced POV. It gives a good idea what to expect.

    And I agree. Books / messages like these are best read in several small sittings. I know with similar books I have gone back and re-read a few sections again and again. The right message at the right time can make a world of a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a balanced review, Tulika. I’ll share this post and the details of the book with my friends who are parents. Let them choose if they want to read it or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Appreciate your honest, straight-from-the-heart review of Vinodini’s book, Tulika. I’ve been meaning to read the book at some point and it really helps to have your feedback, so I’m kind of prepared to pick whatever is relevant for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved how graciously you have mixed the good and bad in this review; yet made it such an overwhelmingly positive review Tulika. If I ever write a book, I know who MUST review it for sure 😉

    Congrats Vinodini on the feat – may the book gather tonnes of readers and fans alike!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had read a few letters during the AtoZ Challenge. Reading them all in the form of a book made me realize that it’s a great resource for parents and youngsters. I will be asking AG to read a few chapters from this book. And agree with you, it’s best to read 1-2 chapters over a period of time.

    Liked by 1 person

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