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Friday, October 11, 2013

Review: Too Early for Flowers by Kurt Sipolski

Too Early for Flowers by Kurt Sipolski, AF, 2012, 96p, Rating=4
Source: Smashword ebook copy was provided by author in exchange for an honest review.


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.


What a lovely tribute this author gave of his mother, Iris.  It was not only heartwarming but it gave the reader a personal perspective of what the times and life was like during the budding years of medical breakthroughs, specifically polio.  The polio vaccine would not be introduced until over a decade after the first setting in this book.  Hence, the Sipolski family would be facing primitive views and treatment for the said condition.  At that time (here, 1940s) the public didn't know the cause of such an affliction so it made sense that some believed in old wives tale preventive measures and have disrespectful attitudes about the illness.  Even Iris found herself caught making a derogative remark only later to discover that her second son (the author) would be diagnosed with polio. That, plus being widowed at a young age and having to raise two very young boys, Iris sure had difficult challenges on her plate.  Luckily for Iris, she was strong and patient.  It appeared that every choice she made was in consideration for her boys' well being.  Including to marry again so as to have a father figure for her children.  She was stern and proactive in the care of her polio son and overall set a loving environment for her family.  Thereby instilling confidence, particularly in her children, to go after an enriching life.  Certainly a woman deserving of admiration.  Don't get me wrong, she made mistakes but she lived her life with faith and heart.

Considering that this book was based on a true story involving the author, I got emotionally vested.  I couldn't help but get all choked up at the poignant part regarding the eldest son.  It was the first point where I felt heartache for the author.  There had been several trying times by then but that one incident just struck me hard.  Then the ending took me by surprise and left me feeling uneasy ...too sad.

This really was not all a downer.  In fact, I enjoyed several quiet chuckle moments.  For the most part,  this was a life inspiring piece and contained multiple love stories (I liked Bill).  I'm not surprise that it is optioned for film (read about it here).  I would definitely see it!

One of my favorite quotes:
"Sometimes everything can't be explained for one reason or another. In life you have to kind of look at all sides of things to understand people. That's the difference in somebody being smart and being wise." Iris Sipolski Mondy

My writing background began in Sydney, Australia when I worked as a reporter for Rupert Murdoch's Daily Mirror group. Since then, my pieces have appeared worldwide, including The Desert Sun, Palm Springs Life magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the International Herald Tribune, and many others. I also founded and published San Francisco Gentry magazine.
But my proudest accomplishments are twofold: The memoir on which "Flowers" is based has been published from Palm Springs to Peoria to Paris, and Onfire Films has optioned screen rights to this novella. I am honored that beautiful actress Ksenia Solo will produce and star.
This is a saga of the struggles and triumphs of my late mother, Iris, beginning when she left home for Washington, D.C. at age 18 in 1940. It follows her life.
When I was struck down by polio at the age of 2, she dedicated herself to years of daily exercizes to strengthen my weakened leg, and also to bolster my physical and social confidence. While in braces, Iris taught me that everything is in reach, but I just have to reach higher than most boys.
She inspired me to explore all that life offered, and to see the world. Many years later, I was to return to give her the same kind of comfort and encouragement at the end of her life as it came full circle.
I hope readers will be inspired by this lovely, rare woman.

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