Author: Paulette Mahurin
Summary: How many times do I have to relive this? Blinking away tears, she moved her hand under the sheet into her nightie, to rough wrinkles and edges of scar tissue that had failed to heal in normal time because of infection, delaying chemo and radiation treatment…. Scheduled on a journey of death and quietly praying for miracles that would expand her existence, life suddenly became significant. In her aspiration to escape mortality, she met the right man, another cancer patient, who brought her the contentment her life has never for once experienced. However, the story of true love soon ended. A twosome became single, but not without rebuilding the broken.The story His Name Was Ben, takes place in some areas in U.S, and Ojai California where beautiful Sara Philips, a nurse practitioner and a divorcee lives by herself in the same city with (a cold mother, a father with a heart problem and a schizophrenic brother.
Sara lives a tough life, and experienced a number of problems: Henry who dumps her, three years into their marriage, for a metaphysical cult he is involved in and makes her shied away from sentimental investments with men. A mother with sickening attitude that can’t offer her daughter sincere comfort when dilemmas hits hard, ridicule because of a schizophrenic brother, and an abuse from the same brother that snatched away memory of a sweet childhood and plague the future with nightmares.
As Sara’s treatment continues at UCLA with Doctor Zimmerman, we soon see in the story that Sara meets Michael Gottilieb an attorney who works at NASA, and a fellow cancer patient. Intrigued by Ben’s good looks and situation, what Sara has successfully kept blocked for so many years begins creeping back in, one dream, one image, and one memory at a time—the pieces of a puzzle that has not yet formed a whole picture. But, entertaining the idea of receiving affirmation from Ben that she is still attractive is a balm. And wanting to feel normal, she continues to obsess over Ben. When Sara is encouraged by her close friend Ellen to tell Ben of her feelings, she’s reluctant. But she soon gathers the confidence to tell him and he blocks her flirtation. Ben’s mind is set in a fixed direction, and that is to concentrate on his treatment and only that. After a little while, Ben swings from his determination to stay the course with his treatment and not get involved with any woman. He gradually takes to Sara. And the feelings the two of them couldn’t think is for real, becomes the best thing that ever happens to the two of them. While Sara is experiencing encouraging changes from the ongoing approved cancer studies in UCLA, Ben’s health deteriorates. In spite the challenges, Ben and Sara gets married. And seven weeks after, Ben lost his life to the terminal illness. He dies, resolving the emotional trauma Sara has been hiding from her entire life. He dies leaving her a mended and fulfilled woman.
Writing style: The writing style of the author is luxuriant. She used glowing descriptions and really paint clear picture of every event that went down in the novel in the most engrossing way. The novel flows like story told from the author to the readers without uncertainties. The parallel stories developed in the greatest fascinating forms. The author’s messages of life’s tests, liberation, love and fulfillment are clear and powerful in the middle of the story and at the end of it. She gave Sara a much fulfilled ending. She provides us with the value to be hopeful no matter what befalls us in life.
My thoughts: His Name was Ben, is a sumptuous true story. Sometimes fate would try to discourage us from reaching fulfillment in life by deriding us with all sort of tests, but this story leads me to believe that a person would always find exciting ending no matter the situations that reduces his chance of a fulfilled life like Ben. The rest of us should encourage ourselves, repair our broken faith that we can never find extraordinary fulfillment because of the hindrances we have presently to the flow of exciting happenings in our lives. After tempestuous days, triumph stands by those that have faith in happy ending.
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