Title : I Promised You Daisies(Book 2 of the trilogy - Imperfectly Ordinary)
Author : Robert A. Benjamin
Publisher : Helm Publishing
ISBN : 978-0-9820605-3-7
'I Promised You Daisies' - a sequel to 'A Gift of Dreams', is an autobiographical writing of Benjamin's progression from boyhood to manhood retaining the love for building and flying model airplanes intact. Benjamin is a well known name in the community of model-aviators and earned his position in the U.S. Model Aviation Hall of Fame in 2006.
A book that reveals Benjamin's inner feelings, his failures, his determination, his rock solid commitments, his severe loss and his gradual and steady progress towards the goals - set against the backdrop of political and social settings during the times of Woodstock, hippies and Vietnam war.
The author drops out of school but after experiencing abysmal levels and deep depression, he strives dedicatedly to resolve his inner conflicts on many planes and to give meaning to his life while learning to take one moment at a time. On the journey of his life he happens to meet his soul mate Karen and they both find their thinking in complete unison on almost everything of consequence. Karen exemplifies the dedication and determination of a student while studying to be a registered nurse, and secretly carries a big emotional baggage all along to be the best in order to compensate for the imperfection around her. Benjamin eventually returns to college to qualify as a public school teacher, dons many roles in different situations but tries to keep his focus on the distant dream while concentrating on the things in hand. They start their life together supporting each other and respecting each other's commitments to reach the goals they had set for themselves. But sometimes the emotional clutter from past still creeps up and pulls the present down and it turns out that the day they had been waiting for during all these years of hard work, could not see the two of them together. The promise of enjoying daisies together could not be fulfilled.
They did achieve what they had aimed for but can the happiness be achieved by just reaching the sought after destination? A story that conveys beautifully how sometimes even the utmost determination, hard work and sincerity remain insufficient.
Author has successfully brought his devout inner feelings to the readers. I especially liked the sincerity with which he approaches anything that comes his way as if 'he belonged there'. The mutual understanding that Benjamin and Karen shared while beginning their lives together was wonderful and even during the time when situation slips to uncertain times, the commitment Benjamin displays to salvage whatever he could is very touching and emotional. A very simple straight from the heart character portrayal of guileless personality and this simplicity reaches the readers in the same form.
However, I cannot ignore pointing out that, on more than once occasions, author does reveal the climax of the subplots a little in advance and then elaborates them subsequently, disrupting the natural flow of events.