You know that feeling when you start a book and by the end of the first page you know, you just know, you’re going to spend every spare moment you have over the coming days reading and letting this author take you on their adventure?
This is that kind of book.
Which was odd for me because picking it up and reading the blurb on the back, I wouldn’t have thought this was likely to be my kind of book at all. From the term ‘a memoir’ written on the front cover I was getting a clear vibe there was to be a distinct lack of gunfights, murders, secret agents, aliens or psychic abilities inside. Still, I’d generously been offered three copies to giveaway and I decided the decent thing to do, both for the author and my discerning readers, would be to review the book.
I am so glad I did.
From the opening chapter with the Hideous Mr Purvis, her ‘psychopath in a suit’ boss who starts Mary-Lou Stephens on her journey of discovery, this book demanded I keep reading.
With a rare gift of being able to paint beautiful images with words, despite the subject matter sometimes being a little confronting, Mary-Lou opens the door on the events of her life which have made her who she is – a happy, successful woman working her dream job in the world of radio. Only it’s been a rough ride to get there.
There are moments in this book when you just want to reach through the pages and hug Mary-Lou, and others you want to shake her. It’s this ability to connect with you as a reader and stir your emotions which makes Sex, Drugs and Meditation such a treat for the soul.
Mary-Lou not only presents her faults, she serves them up on a platter for us to mull over, with a little bowl of humour to dip them in to make them more palatable. The journey is a deeply personal account of love, loss and loneliness, yet I was surprised how often I saw myself peeking out from between the pages, from behind her words.
This book could have been gloomy. It could have been downright depressing, but it’s not. Not by a long shot. For all things fall apart, Mary-Lou avoids the trap of making this a dispiriting book. Instead, it’s a revelation: a rebirth.
When life hands you tequila, reach for the lemon and salt: anything to water it down so you can make it through another night and come out the other side hungover but a little wiser, and maybe even with a humourous, uplifting story to tell the world.
It seems there comes a time when we all need a Hideous Mr Purvis in our lives to set us on the right path. I’m just so very happy Mary-Lou found hers.
Mary-Lou’s website (hint, her name is a hyperlink, and so are the piccies up top and above). But enter first! And in case you don’t win your own copy here, write the title down somewhere and seek it out. You won’t be disappointed. This competition has been drawn. Congratulations to R Wasley, A Davies & L Paul.
When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page.
’raising a family on little more than laughs’