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I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag: A Memoir…

I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag: A Memoir of Life Through Events, the… (edição: 2012)

de Jennifer Gilbert

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In this memoir, the founder of a special events company speaks out about the devastating attack that left her near death, her difficult road to recovery, and the weddings, bar mitzvahs, and parties that helped her to heal.
Título:I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag: A Memoir of Life Through Events, the Ones You Plan and the Ones You Don't
Autores:Jennifer Gilbert
Informação:Harper (2012), Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Coleções:Para ler

Detalhes da Obra

I Never Promised You A Goodie Bag: A Memoir of Life Through Events -- the Ones You Plan and the Ones You Don't de Jennifer Gilbert


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Exibindo 5 de 5
The author survived a horrific attack and I admire her ability to go on and flourish personally and professionally. There is no question she is a survivor who works incredibly hard and deserves all her success.

Unfortunately, the rest of the story was a litany of how rich and fabulous and thin she is, how much men LOVE her, and a blow-by-blow account of every over-the-top fabulous event she’s master-minded and saved from disaster for the super-rich. It was tiresome and she came off as very self-involved and arrogant. It's not so much what she did as how she presents it in this book.

Memoirs are difficult. I hope in person she is lovely, but this book does nothing to present her as even likable. I wish I had known before I read the book that she spent part of a season on Housewives of NY because it would have told me that I probably wouldn't like it. ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
I thought that this was going to be a nice little book with some anecdotes about bridezillas and overbearing mothers. I was a little bit wrong. Ms. Gilbert, as a young adult woman, was brutally attacked by a man who stabbed her multiple times with a screwdriver. This is her recovery story with a couple event planning anecdotes thrown in. A good read and I am glad that she did recover to write it. Emotionally and physically. ( )
  bookwormteri | Apr 1, 2016 |
(33) ( )
  activelearning | Feb 22, 2013 |
Jennifer Gilbert was only 22 when she was violently, randomly attacked outside a friend’s apartment in New York City. In the wake of that physical and mental assault, Gilbert was forced to reconcile the fact that someone tried to kill her with the knowledge that he didn’t succeed — and that she must find a way to move forward. Piece by piece, inch by inch.

Sound like the plot of terrifying movie? Yeah. It basically was. Gilbert’s I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag: A Memoir of a Life Through Events — the Ones You Plan and the Ones You Don’t is the story of her tumultuous twenties, the aftermath of the attack and her rise to eventual success as an event planner, entrepreneur and mother. It’s filled with hardship and heartbreak, love and loss, humor and devastation — and through it all: determination. The one thing Gilbert’s attacker couldn’t steal.

Here’s the thing: I don’t generally seek out survivor’s stories. Not because I’m disinterested, cold-hearted; not because I don’t feel for others and hope for their recovery. Mostly because I’m a skittish, empathetic reader with an active imagination. If I read about it in a book, it’s not a huge leap to imagine these terrible things happening to me. And when they’re written well, it’s no leap at all.

Such was the way with Gilbert’s tale. I felt her cuts and bruises; I ached when she ached. Her descriptions of life pre- and post-attack were heartbreaking. I didn’t pick up the memoir with a clear understanding of what happened to her — only that she had a great adversity to overcome on her path to becoming a successful business owner. That aspect appealed to me: the one-woman show. The tough, don’t-tell-me-no female founder. It’s what prompted me to pick up I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag, and the attack hit me like a wrecking ball. I didn’t see it coming.

But Gilbert’s story is not a tragedy. She’s honest about her feelings following her near-death experience: the fear and anxiety and chaos that encircled her life after 1991. She doesn’t sugarcoat things, doesn’t smooth them over. But when circumstances really start to get her down, Gilbert pulls herself up by those metaphorical bootstraps and digs in. She refuses to be a victim; she doesn’t want others to know her story. After her physical wounds heal, the details of her attack begin to fade — and aren’t dragged out for every newcomer on the scene. Her attack is not a party trick or fodder for gossip.

Gilbert turns inward and gets down to business. She becomes determined to thrive.

This story of her road to recovery and path to finding love was interesting and well-paced, and I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag is definitely a reminder to never take life for granted. Gilbert makes it clear that she never craves sympathy; she doesn’t want others to feel sorry for her. I believe she held this story in for as long as she could, eventually finding the strength to disclose what happened twenty years ago when her young son began his struggle with alopecia.

You know, I just really liked this book. It worked for me. The author herself is erudite and sassy, confident and funny. Though obviously wealthy, she never comes across as holier-than-thou — and she doesn’t pretend to have it all figured out. She felt like “one of us,” basically — genuinely. I could see myself throwing back champagne at one of her impeccably-organized parties, dripping in diamonds, or just see us catching a latte in jeans while the kids are in school. Assuming I was, um, a mother in New York City. But you know what I mean.

Fans of contemporary memoirs, stories of triumph, those interested in the event-planning business or anyone who just craves a good read will find plenty to ponder in this memoir. At just over 200 pages, I devoured it quickly and really liked Gilbert. She’s an amazingly resourceful person, a role model — and this is a book I heartily recommend. ( )
  writemeg | Nov 2, 2012 |
When Jennifer Gilbert was just 22 years old, she was attacked by a crazed man who stabbed her repeatedly with a screwdriver. He had followed her from the subway to her friend's apartment and brutalized her right outside her friend's apartment door. This event begins her memoir I Never Promised You A Goodie Bag- A Memoir of a Life Through Events- the Ones You Plan and the Ones You Don't.

Jennifer screamed and pounded on the door and when her friend Andrea opened the door and saw what was happening, Andrea panicked and closed the door. The man still came at her, and she used all her might to avoid being stabbed in the head.

Andrea opened the door again and Jennifer scrambled into the apartment, with the attacker on her heels. Andrea ran into her bedroom and locked her door. Finally the man gave up and left, but Jennifer was in bad shape, losing a lot of blood.

Later she found out that there were four other women cowering in their bedrooms in the apartment, but no one came to her aid. Remarkably, she didn't hold it against Andrea, trying to understand how frightened Andrea was too, but their friendship didn't last.

Jennifer's parents and sister brought her home and tried to comfort her, friends and neighbors stopped by, but it didn't help. Her view of the the world and her place in it had been shattered, and now she was labeled "victim".

She moved to Boston and stayed with an old boyfriend, but was stuck in a state of fear and inertia. She couldn't work, focus, or leave her apartment. Then she decided to fight back.
"Where was that girl and why had she given up? I had let the attacker frighten me out of the city I loved and into a deep hole that I had dug for myself to hide in. This was not my fabulous life. This wasn't why I had fought so hard to survive that day. If I was going to be afraid to live, then that man might as well have killed me. I was lost and alone and scared, and I was headed down a road of not just feeling nothing, but being nothing."
She decided to work on her career and applied for jobs in event planning; she received two offers, one from Bear Stearns and one from a small events planning company. She chose the small company because she would be getting a commission on any event she booked and because of the freedom her boss gave her to help build the business.

Corporate clients were cold called, and she pestered them until they gave her a chance; she was relentless in her pursuit, finally getting Salomon Brothers as a client in 1992. Gilbert was great at her job, and her "AA-type personality" served her well. No detail was overlooked and she became well-known to caterers, party venues and hotels.

She learned "not only how to function in stressful moments, but also how to make those moments less stressful for everyone else involved." I worked in marketing for a mall, and events planning was part of my job, so I very much enjoyed reading how Gilbert solved problems (a bride locked in the bathroom crying, a venue that promised it would have a liquor license by event day didn't, running out of beer at a Salomon Brothers party at Tavern on the Green) with her can-do attitude.

Eventually Gilbert started her own events planning company, Save-the-Date, and because of her attitude and reputation, was successful. Her love life was another story. She had some long-term relationships, but none worked out. The only steady man in her life was her friend Bennett, who loved her and was convinced that they should be together, but Jennifer couldn't see it happening.

The title of the book comes from her idea that goodie bags are over. Her description of wealthy, high society women climbing over each other to get a bag that has nothing more than "a granola bar and a bottle of shampoo" had me chortling in recognition. I've seen that happen time and again, and I'm with Jennifer on this- get rid of the goodie bags!

What I took away from this book was the resiliency of the human spirit. Something horrible happened to Jennifer Gilbert, but she was determined not to let it stop her from living her life. That experience colored everything that came after, but she worked hard to overcome it and live "her fabulous life". You can let things in life defeat you or you can fight back and make a better life; it is all up to you. It's a lesson many of us can learn. ( )
  bookchickdi | Aug 6, 2012 |
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In this memoir, the founder of a special events company speaks out about the devastating attack that left her near death, her difficult road to recovery, and the weddings, bar mitzvahs, and parties that helped her to heal.

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