I’ve been wondering lately what makes the Obamas as wonderful as they are. Like many of us, I am grieving the end of the Presidency not only because of what is happening now, but because I miss them. Is this sincere or am I simply getting caught up in emotions being thrown around on social media?

When I read Ann Patchett’s piece in Time Magazine I better understood my feelings. Above everything, as Ann says (and she’s pretty much always right) the Obamas showed us love. They were a wonderful example of family love and married love. They showed kindness to strangers without ever being insincere, it was just the way they lived and we were privileged to be close enough to see it.

So these days I want to read about love, not the romantic kind but about love and goodness and people trying to do the right thing.

Jade Chang’s The Wangs vs the World was a great book to read while ringing in the New Year. It is about a Chinese family whose patriarch loses the family business. He came to America with nothing, built a million dollar industry and raised his family only to let them down by losing it all. This novel reads like a road trip. The family travels across the country to meet up at the oldest daughter’s home, the only home they have left. Parts of the novel are about the characters as individuals and their backstories. To me, the novel shines when the family is together and we see the love they discover for one another after many years apart.

I once read that Michelle Obama never wanted us to think that her marriage was in any way perfect or without troubles. This family definitely has their problems, but they are trying and they are good and whether they always like it or realize it, things are best when together.

– – Sarah C.