Foreword Review — July / Aug 2001
I don’t want you to be alone.
Then send me someone.
This exchange between Paul and his wife, Diana, occurred a few months after their 25th wedding anniversary, following the diagnosis of the fast-moving cancer that would shortly take Paul’s life. That Diana should give voice to such an improbable request was not unprecedented. Twenty years previously she had, in a moment of personal upheaval, questioned Spirit as to what she should be doing. She received the answer, “Write a cookbook.” Following this otherworldly advice, she began a career that produced several best-selling cookbooks, including the Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook, and a TV show on the Cable Health Network. Her husband, Paul, was her partner in all these endeavors.
The book alternates between telling the story of the couple’s relationship and detailing Diana’s life after Paul’s death. Incidents of personal spiritual discovery punctuate Wentworth’s telling of her escape from a troubled upbringing with a wealthy but stern father, her early marriage to a worldly older man, her financial struggles, and the eventual emergence of her gifts as a chef, teacher, and writer. Wentworth worked actively to develop her intuitive powers, specifically by journaling. She relied on these contemplative techniques to help in life decisions and to finally put to rest her conflicts with her father.
After Paul’s death she was comforted by his lingering spiritual presence and his help with even the more mundane aspects of life, such as having her enter a furniture store at the precise time that the perfect piece was being offered at a discount. Diana felt Paul’s hand in her chance encounter with Ted Wentworth, the widowed attorney she eventually married.
The story is told in an engaging, matter-of-fact manner that encourages the reader to believe that the answers are there, even for the most difficult questions, if only you ask. In a moment of pondering her husband’s imminent passing, Diana wonders to Spirit, “Why all the suffering?” and receives the answer, “How else would you ever be willing to let him go?”