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An Accidental Parisian

In An Accidental Parisian, Juliet Young shares a riveting memoir chronicling her life from childhood to becoming an expat in Paris. Despite her desire to return to Toronto near her parents, unforeseen circumstances led her to stay in a foreign country much longer than she had planned. Young candidly shares the highs and lows of her life journey, including the romantic and tragic moments that shaped her into the woman she is today.

The memoir provides a rare insight into the cultural elements of Paris throughout the 90s and early 2000s. From Young’s early life to her first few visits to Europe and eventually settling in Paris, the book takes the reader on a personal journey. Young’s writing style is friendly, creating the impression of a personal conversation rather than a mere collection of events. In addition, her depiction of French culture is detailed, revealing the city’s patriarchal nature through the eyes of a feminist expat.

Throughout her adventurous life, Young never lost her courageous spirit, whether she was in Toronto or Paris. Instead, she shares her grief openly as she reminisces about her beautiful childhood and loving parents. Despite initially intending to return to her home country, France became her permanent residence, and this memoir details the events that led her to that point.

Juliet Young’s memoir is a captivating and inspiring read that takes readers on a remarkable journey of self-discovery and adaptation to a foreign culture. An Accidental Parisian is sure to engage and inspire readers and is a must-read for anyone who enjoys a compelling memoir.

Pages: 302 | ASIN : B09Z333JQ1

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It Won’t Hurt None

Family secrets and childhood trauma lay a heavy load on the child, which stays on the child’s shoulders way past childhood. Trauma lingers in the dark corners of the mind lifting its ugly head at most random times with consequences for every aspect of a person’s life. So how does one go on with this burden? How can a person navigate relationships, career, and healthy decisions with someone else in the background calling the shots? Especially when that someone else is another form of yourself. What does it take to move on and live a life as a whole person when parts of you never moved on?

It Won’t Hurt None by Rebecca E. Chandler is a deeply personal story of a successful woman living with deep scars from the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. While this is by no means a professional guide, this is a story of healing written as a message for others who are still suffering. There is hope. There is a chance to heal the old wounds and be able to live a healthier and happier life. It is not an easy journey, but it is a path that can be taken and successfully completed with the right help and dedication.

This autobiography covers sensitive subjects and, at times, is graphic and descriptive. There is no genteel way of describing certain events without taking away from the deep horror of the events and experiences. Reader discretion is advised. Those who join Rebecca Chandler on her literary journey in this memoir will find her work beautiful and well-written in its raw and honest form. This inspirational book encourages those who have suffered abuse and gives others a look into the world of someone with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

Pages: 260 | ASIN : B0BQZGWFB6

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Forbidden Homeland

In the book Forbidden Homeland: Story of a Diasporan, author Katia Tavitian Karageuzian shares her experience in solving mysteries concerning her family history rooted in the Armenian Genocide and the Karabakh Conflict. As an immigrant born in Lebanon, Karageuzian describes her discovery of long-lost relatives that she knew nothing about. This snowballs into almost a decade’s search for the involvement of America in Armenia and the generational trauma that was inherited as a result of this conflict. Furthermore, she exposes injustices still continuing in the ongoing wars in Transcaucasia, including withholding aid for Armenians starving in Artsakh.

This book has a rich history of geopolitics and most ‘superpower’ countries’ political roles outside their country. It shows that foreign policy affects people in traumatic ways worldwide if misused. Furthermore, the book articulates so much resiliency, generational trauma,  and crimes against humanity that occurred, which are not talked about in many forums or books. It is written very vividly, which evokes emotion from the reader to research and familiarize themselves with everyday politics and policies.

One of the most chilling accounts she described was the feeling that her sister and she were being watched while waiting in front of Hotel Al Bustan in the middle of a sandstorm, and the statement, “Practically every Armenian family has a Genocide story because practically every Armenian is the descendant of a Genocide survivor.” The book is truly a five-star read. Its title is befitting because, as an immigrant, Karageuzian is extremely emotional and factual about the homeland that was always forbidden and forgotten. She also includes pictures of her homeland and her relatives to show life before and after the war.

Forbidden Homeland: Story of a Diasporan is an emotionally charged memoir examining the author’s family’s history and heritage. With heartbreaking and thought-provoking stories, this biography will give readers much to think about and reflect on.

Pages: 386 | ASIN : B0BPMV4TNX

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My Maril

Terry Karger and Jay Margolis have written the mesmerizing story, My Maril, in memory of Marilyn Monroe, Jane Wymann, and Ronald Raegan, three of her confidantes and Hollywood stars. This unfiltered story contains stories that no one has heard about these three legendary figures, who, despite their fame, were humble and down to earth. Her father, Fred, began dating Marilyn when Terry was just six years old. However, Marilyn remained a family friend even after the affair ended. Of the three superstars, Marilyn is the main focus, and Karger goes into detail about the beautiful relationship their “Maril” had with this family. In addition, the author shares unseen pictures and stories about Marilyn’s sweet nature along with the sorrowful events that occurred after her unfortunate passing.

The authors have written an unfeigned memoir that displays the intensity of their feelings toward Marilyn Monroe. Karger and Margolis have reawakened Marilyn Monroe’s legacy by sharing these personal and intimate stories. Readers get an insight into Marilyn Monroe’s life from someone who saw her as an elder sister and a mother figure. Furthermore, they talk about her stepmother Jane Wymann, her ex-husband Ronald Reagan, and their children, Maureen and Michael.

Despite being surrounded by celebrities her entire life, Karger always saw them as ordinary, and she has shared some of her engrossing encounters with other Hollywood stars. As a foster child, Marilyn regarded the Kargers as her adopted family. In spite of her admiration for Marilyn, Karger has also spoken of the superstar’s insecurity as a young actress who struggled in the spotlight. Several people believe that Marilyn did not commit suicide but was murdered, and Terry Karger supports that claim by sharing numerous pieces of evidence.

My Maril: Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Hollywood, and Me is a beautiful and heartfelt biography and memoir that humanizes Marilyn Monroe and honors her in a way readers have not seen before. This passionate telling of her life and the impact she had on the writers is something readers will remember and hold onto. The emotions and motivation behind writing this story come from someone who knew and loved Marilyn as if she were her own family.

Pages: 292 | ASIN : B0B3LNLBVJ

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I Was Dying…Then I Changed My Mind

Güngör Buzot is a woman from Turkey who takes exceptional pride in her appearance with perfectly manicured nails, neatly combed hair, and an exceptional sense of style. She exudes love for her children and her husband. She showcases an empathetic heart to friends and strangers alike. She, however, has been riddled with pain for 61 years. The first illness presented itself when she was only 6 -months old. During the 61 years, she underwent 20 surgeries and was prescribed countless medications. She traveled between 5 countries in search of a cure. Ultimately, she was in so much pain that she begged her family to end her life. 

I Was Dying, Then I Changed My Mind, by Güngör Buzot, is an exceptional story of a woman who has lived in pain for 61 years but undertook a difficult journey to release herself from the pain. Buzot, aged 69, provides an incredible insight into her journey of chronic illness. Her book reminds you of journal entries, which lean into the authenticity and transparency of her story. The book immediately captures your attention when Güngör decides that euthanasia is the only remedy to end her suffering. Güngör takes you back to Turkey in 1953 and takes you along her life journey, where every moment of joy was overshadowed by her pain. The reader spends the entirety of the book rooting for her healing. 

I Was Dying, Then I Changed My Mind, by Güngör Buzot is a great read for those who are open-minded, as they will thoroughly enjoy this book about the power of self-healing and alternative medicine. Buzot’s journal-style writing makes this book easy to read. It is not peppered with medical terms that are difficult to understand. I highly recommend this book to everyone on a journey of healing the mind, body, and soul. 

Pages: 132 | ASIN : B0BNP5WH7D

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The Crop Duster’s Daughter

The Crop Duster’s Daughter is a heartwarming and enjoyable read. Author Rhonda Colia shares her story and that of her mother with us in this loving memoir. Author Colia shares many fond memories of growing up with her mother and father, starting with Mary Leota Mae Burks, Rhonda’s mother. We learn of her mother’s past, how she became a crop duster, and how her father was a mechanic. We are taken on a timeline of Rhonda’s parent’s life from getting married, having children, starting a career, and divorcing. Then their children grow up, starting their own families, and soon after losing their parents.

I enjoyed reading about Rhonda’s childhood, and I felt her love and admiration for her mother through her words. Her mother was intelligent and determined, and went against all odds, even during tough times. My favorite part of reading this memoir is when the author shares with readers her memory of waking up at 2 am with her mother to make homemade cake doughnuts. These are the memories that stay with you forever, and this is something Rhonda can pass down to her children. The author included pictures of her family along with a quick description of the image, which was nice to put a face to the names, but I felt like this was very personal and something that the author should’ve shared with just her family. There were times when it was a little hard for me to connect with some of the author’s stories because I did not know her family, and there was much detail included that I felt was not necessary.

The Crop Duster’s Daughter is a beautiful journey into the author’s world and the life that her mom provided for her. The lessons her mom imparted to her daughter have helped shape the woman she is today, and that is a legacy worth telling. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a thoughtful memoir of a family who shares a love for airplanes.

Pages: 188 | ISBN : 1956529918

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The Unbelievable Truth

The Unbelievable Truth: My Personal Walk With God, by Elder Emerson D. Broadnax, is the encounter of a man that went from being a drug-addicted alcoholic to a member of the Church, thanks to a sudden and lucky encounter. It follows his path as he starts hearing God’s voice, anticipating seeing God in his life events, and guiding him through his faith.

Broadnax writes straightforwardly, not spending much time on each episode but clearly narrating all of them, helping the reader understand the miracle the Lord had realized for him. I appreciated the multiple quotes from the Bible, which gave more depth to the different stories and might inspire readers. The choice of verses underlines the attention to detail as the quotes all refer to the chapter in question or at least to one of the episodes narrated.

The Unbelievable Truth: My Personal Walk With God, by Elder Emerson D. Broadnax, is an inspiring story. It will guide people who might be looking for their own way or who might need a new perspective on life, just like the author did. I recommend this novel to any reader keen on religious and spiritual themes. Lastly, I would like to end this review with a quote from the author: “This book is about how God delivered me out of a twenty-three-year drug habit and how I have been free for twenty-four years.”

Pages: 52 | ASIN : B0BKNS5Z5L

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The Eighteen Years That Didn’t Change Anything

Enrico Tesla’s The Eighteen Years That Didn’t Change Anything is a memoir depicting the life of an average man as he lives through his prime to middle-aged years. The author takes an alternative approach to contemplate the human condition and existence.

Tesla excels in portraying himself as an average man within his words, “above average prospects.” The arc of the text shows him as a young man just beginning his career and concludes with a man who has loved, lost, and been a bit weathered by life. This portrayal renders his character accessible and relatable; he is neither above nor below the reader and, therefore, human. Still, he maintains a curious ego that leads him to ponder his existence in the context of some transformative life events.

The peculiar way he regards both his existence and the human condition also attracts the reader’s empathy. He ponders his existence in a neurotic, scientific-theory-based manner that encourages the reader to ponder the intersections of humanity, an arguably subjective matter, and science, a discipline founded in concrete fact.

His careful pairing of certain scientific facts, such as natural selection and Einstein’s iconic mass-energy formula, alongside his analysis of human perseverance at the end of the novel, is his thesis on life. It is through these efforts to prove his mastery of understanding life at its core that he comes to a poignant yet sobering conclusion. He frames even the most intimate experiences, such as love, in a clinical manner and even expresses to the reader areas in which he feels inadequate. Yet he possesses a stern conviction that due to the foundational understanding he has of life and the due process of nature, life is still worth living.

Pages: 114 | ASIN : B0BBCS8FCT

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