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Book Reviews

Love, Youth & Family

(Fr. Varghese Paul, SJ, Insight Books, Pauline Publications, 143, Waterfield Road, Bandra, Mumbai, 2009, pp.176, price Rs.80/-)

This first book in English by Fr. Varghese Paul, who has authored over thirty well-acclaimed books in Gujarati, is very creditable. The book deals with love, youth and family, and with issues of justice and social evils that affect families. The author's main concern is to help people to live a happy life.

The book contains examples, true stories and anecdotes, of both happy and unhappy families, and happy and unhappy marriages. One theme that runs through its pages is whether family life and the life of individuals is happy. The author shares some of his personal experiences with unmarried, married, happy and unhappy individuals and couples. Social concerns touched on include female infanticide, wife-beating, unconcern for elderly parents, injustice to the Dalits and Tribals, women-trafficking and illiteracy. The author is convinced that it is love that keeps a family united, happy and healthy; he examines obstacles to love and offers guides to promote a culture of love, unity and cooperation. Teenagers and youth need their parents' love, presence and 'quality time' much more than money and gifts.

A theme that finds repeated expression is respect for the human rights of each individual in the family. The author pleads for equal rights for men and women: and many examples are given to show the evils of not respecting the rights of women. Emphasis is placed on forgiveness and hence there are many true stories of forgiveness. Other areas touched on are problems in inter-religious marriages, sibling rivalry, fostering self-confidence in children, the responsibility of parents and grandparents towards their children and the importance of the family in bringing up children in a culture of life and happiness.

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Books by Fr. Varghese Paul, S. J.