A Review by Con Ryan of “Getting More out of Life”

I have just read Peg Hanafin’s book with great pleasure. I was deeply impressed by her common sense, the clarity of her thought and the simple but profound messages in every chapter.

This book is written as a result of Peg’s many and varied life experiences. She is eminently qualified to write such a book because of her lifetime work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, her work with Coláiste Éile, her considerable academic achievements and also as a business woman. I have seen a lot of her work at first hand and have continually been inspired by Peg’s drive and enthusiasm and her desire to help the under privileged and marginalised. I know that Peg doesn’t like these terms. In fact she would be very reluctant to use such words. The many, many people she helped through her involvement in Vincent de Paul were always considered her friends. She treated them as she treats everybody with kindness and generosity. She would never be condescending or patronising.

“Getting More Out Of Life” is more than just another self-help book. Such books are everywhere. Libraries and book shops are crowded with them. Back since the time of Aristotle and Socrates and right down through the ages philosophers and do-gooders have been giving advice on how to cope with life’s difficulties and problems. I think that nowadays there are more of these than ever – How to live longer – How to be slim –How to be assertive -How to find your soul-mate etc. etc. etc. A lot of what is available can be confusing rather than enlightening.

Peg’s book is different. It touches the heart and challenges the reader to think about life. It is about the meaning of life and the things that really matter. Peg’s patriotism, love of people and love of life shine through every chapter, Every aspect of life is covered from the corporal works of mercy to the myth of democracy, from charity and its impact to traditional justice, from the value of true friendship to how to be content with what you have.

It’s so refreshing at the present time to see the Christian message being put forward without fear or favour at a time when it’s no longer fashionable in many quarters to do so and when many sections of the media are hostile to the Catholic Church.

Peg’s book is different also because it is written in simple language that is attractive and easy to read and understand – simple but profound at the same time. It is written with great compassion and understanding of human nature and, of course, with humour, which is so much a part of Peg.

I have no doubt that this book  will make a great difference to many lives and will be read over and over again by people searching for answers. For its easy attractive reading, its simple but profound message and for its portrayal of life’s experiences, I heartily recommend this book.


Con Ryan