We Are in This Together
R.L. Stark’s We Are All In This Together: Reflections on the Dramas of Life embodies a thoughtful, meditative work that captures the joy and sorrow felt throughout life. Stark’s eight chapters break down into three reflective sections of family, patriotism, and self-reflection. The first section examines the loss of a parent, hope for a child, and the friends who become family over time. Stark’s words prove tactful as well as enlightening. So many readers will relate to the loss of a friend or the precious time spent with a child.
In the next section, Stark studies nationalism and the impact of 9/11 on American daily life. Reading his account of that traumatic day, readers will find themselves thinking back to their own experiences. Everyone will remember the American flags that blanketed the United States. “It is as though, with one accord, Americans everywhere are reaching for a security blanket—of red, white, and blue.”
Section three encompasses the personal journey each individual takes through life. The older one becomes, the faster time passes. In a blink of the eye, children return home fully-grown, dear friends pass away, and one cannot help but consider the path untaken. Stark’s final chapter includes tips to help along his younger self, should a conversation have ever happened. His advice abounds with wisdom and understanding of a life fully lived. “First, life is about making choices. And we don’t always choose wisely.” The younger readers will appreciate the guidance of Stark’s words, and the older readers will find familiarity between his pages.
We Are In This Together: Reflections on the Dramas of Life grasps the monumental aspects of life from specific moments to particular people. Earning four stars, it demonstrates a true appreciation for the path each individual must explore. The openness and empathy Stark’s text exudes makes the work accessible to every reader and worth re-reading over the years to come.