I wouldn’t call this a therapeutic self-help guide, as perhaps the book’s title and associated blurb might suggest, but rather in fact a therapeutic memoir, written for the benefit of the author. Clearly with a truly shocking, devastating trauma in her childhood, CJ has, throughout her life, found her own ways to cope, starting with forgiveness (for what, exactly, I’ll leave to the author to share), and this book, I suspect, is more of the same – written at the stage she is now at, in her own journey toward finding peace. The Table of Contents is worded to project the revelations of its chapters onto the reader, as solutions for their own issues, but in truth the advice given within them is perhaps minimal. CJ’s method is simply to advise the reader how to learn from her life story – and, I have to say, a truly inspirational one it is, too – if only by admiring how she found the strength to move on.
In fairness, it has to be said that CJ’s achievements (which are undoubtedly impressive) are evidently of something of a material nature – the corporate career, an enviable social media presence and a lifetime of vanity travel – and may not be the tonic for all readers to address their own therapeutic requirements, nor to all tastes. That said, she clearly has a taste for and a consciousness of the nice things in life, as her fantastic photography, punctuating the book, shows – if perhaps ambiguous in its context and placement. To be truthful, I found myself questioning, at times, whether CJ’s revelations about her own personality actually supported or contradicted the overall narrative she is presenting, but I told myself to look past this, because the author’s character traits aren’t, nor should they be, the stated objective of the book.
I wonder if perhaps the book’s title and tagline should be revised to reflect the true nature of it, and its intent as the author’s memoir, plain and simple. The alternative to this is that the reader takes a clearly conscious decision, from the outset, to take inspiration from CJ’s life on reading. At the very least, by the book’s end, she motivates you to do one important thing, which could arguably encompass all of the positive/negative aspects of your life which you desire to address: that is to take responsibility, and own all of the things you’ve done or haven’t done – in this respect, she certainly leads by example. The implication in this book’s format, by its nature, is that she has achieved the peace and self-actualization she always needed to; this has to be the case, as it is the only scenario which would position her suitably to offer the answers her readers seek – the final chapter certainly insinuates this is indeed the case. I like CJ, and I hope that it is.
In : Book Reviews
Tags: cj-lacsican memoir self-help psychology therapy