The Book of Help by Megan Griswold: REVIEW

Ok, I have to start off by saying I feel a little guilty for reviewing a memoir. I mean, how can I sit here and critique such a personal story? So I’m not going to give a typical review where I’m making suggestions on what could and should have been included and excluded, but rather I’m going to focus on how it made me feel.

The Book of Help made me feel less alone. I could relate to Megan’s yo-yo diets of various self-help techniques and the emotional rollercoaster they took her on. I found her story compelling, her honesty heart wrenching, and her perseverance and resilience inspiring. I found myself falling in love with her love stories, crying with her heart breaks, and asking those big spiritual questions when she herself was lacking the answers. My biggest take away from her story was that self-help techniques are never going to answer your questions or even give you the peace that you seek. All of these different methods lock you in the perception that you are not good enough, that you need to be fixed. As Megan herself pondered through all of her trials and tribulations, why can’t we just live with who we are? Perhaps all of us are broken, and all the different experiences we have are ways to initiate the repairs we seek externally when we really should be honouring thy self. Part of the healing process involves understanding what it is we most need and doing everything we can to align our lives with them. So will all of the fancy schmancy new age remedies out there such as meditation, acupuncture, therapy, and herbalism (just to name a few) meet these needs? I’m not so sure, and as Megan concluded, protection, nourishment, and comfort is all any of us really needs and that will look very different for each individual. So go out there, find your happiness, and live your life by your own terms. We can only be responsible for ourselves. We are not here to fix everyone and everything, because what seems broken, is actually falling into place.

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