Living on Three Spoons by Susan Torres is more than a book about life as a single parent. Torres’ book is an exploration of what it means to be a single parent from every perspective imaginable. The book opens during Torres’ childhood years, when she is one of several children raised in a single parent household where drugs and abuse are commonplace. Her experiences with her mother and her mother’s parenting decisions shape her own views about what it means to be a parent.
Marrying early, she soon finds that being a single parent does not always depend upon marital status. She soon divorces her first husband and resolves to be the best single parent to her two children that she can possibly be. A second marriage leads her into many more adventures, including living overseas and adjusting to a different culture; however, Torres explores the situation with honesty and tact, coming out a better person from her experiences. By the time she courageously decides to embrace single parenthood once again, she is the mother of four wonderful children.
While dealing with her own family and parenting her own children, she continues to work on her relationship with her mother and siblings. Her family views and experiences from both intertwine, the past affecting the present and the present helping her to resolve past hurts so that she can build a better future. She shares the lessons she learns about relationships and how they can help us grow or hold us back in our own journeys.
The bravery Ms. Torres illustrates as she confronts life’s challenges, her past, and society’s pressures is empowering! Life is not easy for her, but she is determined to be a better single parent than her mother. Along the way she learns much about forgiveness, honesty, trust, and the balancing act all parents strive to achieve – that fine line between taking care of others and taking care of ourselves.
I cannot do justice to the book in a short review because it is simply packed with emotion and wonderful life lessons. In all honesty, as I read, my heart ached; I laughed; and I cried. I celebrated when I realized that in some situations that I always thought were mine alone, I was not alone. I remembered fear that I experienced in the past and felt that I could finally deal with it. I danced with joy when Torres’ persistence and determination prevailed! While I read this book, she became my ‘sister’ and she honestly influenced my outlook on life.
I believe that there are times when all single parents feel a certain amount of disappointment and perhaps even shame in being single parents. Living on Three Spoons can help a single parent realize that there is no shame in our status and that we can give our children everything they need to be successful in life. Torres points out true priorities we all need to instill in our children – love, respect, and truth. She puts life in perspective and effectively shows us that we can overcome life’s obstacles. We are not broken; we simply face different challenges. Our adversities make us stronger – provided that we face them head-on and learn from them instead of allowing them to pull us down.
This is not just another story of a single parent to whom we can relate and commiserate. This is the story of a single parent who shares hope – for our children, our lives, and ourselves!
You can find Living on Three Spoons on Amazon.com and more information about Susan Torres at http://www.livingonthreespoons.com/