Rachel Hollis is real, raw, unfiltered and brutally honest in this masterpiece of literary work. This is not one of those self-help books that makes you feel unaccomplished, lost or odd. This is one of those books that makes you relate! The type that makes you realise that you are not the only one going through something.
Her life growing up was nothing short of traumatic. Picture having a father with anger-management issues, fist-sized holes in the walls, shattered plates and losing an erstwhile gleeful big brother to suicide at the tender age of 14, for starters.
Rachel bears her soul out on this one as she talks of peeing on her pants as a fully grown woman, being in an abusive relationship and not realising that she deserved better until much later on. She talks about her struggles with Bell’s palsy, vertigo, post-partum depression, temper tantrums, tedious adoption processes that would crumble just when she thought things would be looking up, sex, being a working mother, and everything in between.
This isn’t just a book. It’s a mirror. It allows the reader to see a reflection of themselves. Something real. She wears her mistakes, failures, moments of mortification, and scars, like a badge of honour. It’s a story of a young lady who grew up surrounded by chaos, vitriol, confusion and pain, but didn’t let it define her.
It’s as genuine as a first-hand account can get. She describes herself as “an expert in being told no”. She has faced rejection on so many accounts that you would expect her to be the most pessimistic person on earth. Yet she refuses to accept ‘no’ as a final answer. In her own words;
“If you can’t get through the front door, try the side window. If the window is locked, maybe you slide down the chimney. No doesn’t mean that you stop; it simply means that you change course in order to make it to your destination.”
For all the creators, she narrates how she almost didn’t make it as an author after publishers and editors turned down her first piece of literary works because they felt it was ‘too sweet for the market to buy it as is’. What did they recommend that she does to ‘spice’ it up? Simple add some sex into the story line! She was crushed. She eventually decided to self-publish it in February 2014. It has since sold over 100,000 copies and launched her career as an author. Her advice to all artists ergo is;
“You have to decide that you care more about creating your magic and pushing it out into the world than you do about how it will be received.”
This is the type of book that educates, entertains, makes you cry, and fires you up, at the same time! Life isn’t deodorised here, neither is it dolled up. It is served, cold! Whereas it was written for a female audience, it is a great book for men who care about women. My biggest take away was;
“There isn’t one right way to be a woman. There isn’t one right way to be a daughter, friend, boss, wife, mother, or whatever else you categorise yourself as. There are so many different versions of each and every style on this planet, and beauty lives in that dichotomy.”
REVIEW BY AURA BILLY OSOGO