Friday, September 7, 2012

RJS Book Review: Scars from a Memoir

RJS Book Review
When I first interviewed Marni Mann in May about her debut effort, Memoirs Aren't Fairytales: a Story of Addiction, I knew that the book had to be something special.  Memoirs is the story of Nicole, a heroine addict on the streets of Boston.  Her story is dark, violent and raw.  I knew Marni was on to something; she was talking about pains and traumas no one else would touch.  And her following was fierce.  It was the impact I wanted to have on others with The Grim, exploring topics from which others shy away.  I kept meaning to see what all the fuss was about, but, admittedly, I never got around to it.

Then, I was offered an incredible opportunity: Marni forwarded me a copy of her sequel, Scars from a Memoir.  I have never been so honored in my life, and the book, rest assured, did not disappoint in the slightest.  Scars picks up with Nicole now walking through sobriety, trying to forgive herself for the depths to which she stooped during her addiction.  She is rebuilding relationships, starting new ones and trying to find her place in the world.  But the shadows of her past haunt her at every turn, and she questions if she is strong enough to resist that old familiar tug.

I usually give myself six weeks to read a book for review; with the other things I have going on, I struggle with finding time to read leisurely.  Let me assure you: Scars of a Memoir turned my entire schedule upside down.  I got angry when I was interrupted or had to stop reading.  I will admit, I still haven't read Memoirs yet, but the reassurance with this book was I didn't need to.  I was just as invested in Nicole's journey in the sequel, even with knowing only traces of what she had come from.  I cried, twice, and I hated Marni, for gripping me so completely!  And the twist ending was definitely the second reason for my tears.  After everything, just when you're letting your guard down...

But this is what we love, isn't it, about reading?  Getting lost in a story and taken to a place we've never been, even when those places have danger lurking around every corner...
I was moved, I was saddened, I was redeemed.  And I thank you, Marni, for allowing me to go on this journey. With work like this, I'm sure your success will be limitless.
5/5 suns: You can't get Memoirs or Scars fast enough.  Must reads!


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