“Life goes fast,” Lee Kravitz observes in Unfinished Business: “Click. You are fifteen. Click, click. You are fifty-five. Click, click. You are gone. And so are the people who loved and nurtured you.” Realizing these truths all too clearly when he finds himself out of a job in his mid-fifties and suddenly adrift, Kravitz decides to take a year out of an otherwise workaholic existence and attend to the real currency of life—human relationships.
“All of us have unfinished business,” he writes. “It can be a friend we lost touch with or a mentor we never thanked; it can be a call we meant to make or a pledge we failed to honor. It can be a goal we lost sight of or a spiritual quest we put on hold.” When he makes his conscience-clearing “to do” list, it is long and complicated, and he is uncertain how his long-overdue overtures will be received; among the fractured relationships are a beloved aunt he has neglected for 15 years, a traveling buddy he borrowed $600 from and never paid back and a bereaved friend he never consoled. His inspiring journey of re-connection and redemption takes us to far-flung places—a refugee camp in Kenya, a monastery in California, a bar in Cleveland—and introduces us to a host of kind and kindred spirits from whom he gains strength, insight and encouragement.
In turn, Kravitz encourages us to act, to keep moving forward toward “true human connectedness” despite the demands and pressures of modern life. “The hurdles we face in tackling our unfinished business can seem impossibly high, but the first step in clearing them is usually quite simple: Write an email, or make a phone call. You can never tell when the weight you’ve been shouldering will slip away, leaving you a more complete and loving person.”Copyright 2010 BookPage Reviews.
When Parade editor-in-chief Kravitz loses his job, he takes account of the many things he let slip in his quest to get to the top of the publishing world. He decides to take the next year to pursue all he's let pass: a reconciliation with a long-lost aunt; an exploration of spirituality; a payment of a 30-year-old debt; and other pursuits. In the process he learns a great deal about patience, humility, love, and family and reminds readers that the best time to do the things you say you're going to do is now. Kravitz is a thoughtful writer, and his memoir reveals a delicate personal journey, but many of his grand setups result in poor payoffs. While readers will be pleased that the author has made these valuable connections and has enriched his life, they may not connect sufficiently with him to be able to sympathize. His account is full of small, personal gestures, but their ultimate accumulation doesn't have much resonance. (June)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC