Sappy, but good. It's hard to believe that it is all so perfectly true; some of the bus drivers are just a bit too much overdone...they seem to be caricatures of people, rather than real people, but overall it was entertaining, enlightening, and a fun and easy read. I worked with developmentally disabled (as we were taught to call them) people for a summer in grad school and can certainly relate to the impatience that Rachel feels and her "dark inner voice." Of course, I also feel that way when dealing with my kids sometimes. It is certainly hard to repeatedly deal with an obstinate individual who is not rational enough to understand that you are trying to help them. There are a few gems about life that are worth repeating, especially those about living in the moment (something I struggle with in my life and can appreciate Rachel's journey to find something worth spending time and energy on besides work): "I appreciated anew how much having friends help. Yes, work is a crucial part of life, but work alone cannot generate easy laughter, closeness, meandering conversation--and, best of all, the certainty that you belong right here, right now, because someone is special to you. I so took this feeling for granted, I never thought to name it. But now I think I would call it happiness."
I also liked the parable about following your nature and also about being an optimist: "there are two sons... one an optimist, one a pessimist. And their father is trying to teach them to round themselves out, to see how others think. He takes the pessimist, and locks him in a room full of brand-new toys. He says, 'I want to teach you a lesson. These are all yours to play with. I'll be back in an hour and we're going to talk.' Then he takes the optimist, and locks him in a room full of horse poop. He says, 'Stay here for an hour, and then we'll talk. I want you to think about what you see in here.' An hour passes. He comes back and unlocks the door with all the toys. The pessimist is sitting in the middle of the room, crying his eyes out. The father says, 'What's wrong with you?' And the boy says, 'I just know if I touch one of these toys, it's going to break!' Then he goes to the optimist and opens the door. And the son's jumping up and down in horse poop, giggling and screaming. The father says, 'What's wrong with you? You're ion a room full of horse poop! How can you be so happy?' And the boy says, 'Dad, I just know there's got to be a pony in here somewhere.'