Verdict: COURAGE TO PERSEVERE is a warm, generous and encouraging book that might be even better if it were extended and deepened into a full-length autobiography.
A Nigerian-born American woman tells her life story and offers advice based on her struggles and success.
Tami Gilbert was born in Ijofin, in Nigeria. When she was eight, her father left for Chicago, and her mother moved back to Benin, where she remarried. Tami was left in the care of other relatives until her father sent for her at fifteen. While her introduction to America was rocky – she stayed in a cousin’s cold basement for a while, and was bullied at school – she worked hard and got a nursing degree, overcame racism and difficult employers to succeed in her field, and found love and family with a supportive husband and three children.
Gilbert’s story is inspiring, and her experiences are both interesting to read about and useful to learn from. She tells her story with kindness and warmth, and has loving words to say about a great many of the people in her life. Gilbert offers specific examples to support her arguments, and helpfully provides tools in each chapter designed to help teach the lessons she offers. However, the book could benefit from greater depth and substance – her life story is presented here in a very short, summary form, but is certainly worthy of much more exploration and greater detail than she offers. Her advice could also use more detail, emotion, and depth – for example, she skims over the issues she had with her stepchildren when she married, and does not say much more than “Our whole family had a rough start” but that she then “realized being children of a divorced parent is not easy, either.” More concrete and in-depth examples of problems they had and solutions they found might be of invaluable use to others who find themselves in similar situations.
COURAGE TO PERSEVERE is a warm, generous and encouraging book that might be even better if it were extended and deepened into a full-length autobiography.