A compelling, spirited guide that aims to help readers understand who they come from.



A memoir and New Age self-help guide explores how the traumas of past generations affect present families.

“In this book, I will give you a glimpse into an invisible world,” writes Dayal-Gulati, an Indian-born economist-turned–energy healing practitioner. That world, she says, is one’s “family energy field,” also called “family karma”: an intangible, ancestral link that influences living people of today with the merits and faults of their forebears. Framed this way, everyone lives with the legacies of past generations and can’t unburden themselves from unprocessed trauma without confronting the past; family curses are very real, the author asserts, but can also be broken. Dayal-Gulati’s book is divided into four parts (“Healing My Roots,” “Healing Tools,” “Understanding Your Family Energy Field,” and “The Journey Home”), across which she shares her personal story of spiritual growth and guidance, her advice on the application of healing tools such as flower essences, and tips on how to achieve peace by accepting and honoring one’s ancestors. She peppers the book with anecdotes from her client work as a trained energy practitioner as well as her own life story of moving from India to Europe and finally to the United States while citing therapists, anthropologists, and the work of Carl Jung to effectively contextualize her approach. There are journaling questions, exercises, and guided prayers throughout, with which the author encourages readers to make better use of the book’s principles: “What if the emotions that keep you prisoner may not be your own?” The prose is lively, if sometimes overly optimistic, with ample queries and exclamations that give it a conversational feel. However, one will need to have knowledge and access to their immediate and extended families to fully benefit from this book and practice the rituals it recommends. Dayal-Gulati, who notes that she is not a trained therapist, is also upfront about the parameters of her work, noting that “most of my advice here is for those whose parents were not abusive,” and she recommends seeking the help of licensed professionals for complex trauma.

A compelling, spirited guide that aims to help readers understand who they come from.

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-64411-774-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Findhorn Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2022

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The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

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The former iCarly star reflects on her difficult childhood.

In her debut memoir, titled after her 2020 one-woman show, singer and actor McCurdy (b. 1992) reveals the raw details of what she describes as years of emotional abuse at the hands of her demanding, emotionally unstable stage mom, Debra. Born in Los Angeles, the author, along with three older brothers, grew up in a home controlled by her mother. When McCurdy was 3, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though she initially survived, the disease’s recurrence would ultimately take her life when the author was 21. McCurdy candidly reconstructs those in-between years, showing how “my mom emotionally, mentally, and physically abused me in ways that will forever impact me.” Insistent on molding her only daughter into “Mommy’s little actress,” Debra shuffled her to auditions beginning at age 6. As she matured and starting booking acting gigs, McCurdy remained “desperate to impress Mom,” while Debra became increasingly obsessive about her daughter’s physical appearance. She tinted her daughter’s eyelashes, whitened her teeth, enforced a tightly monitored regimen of “calorie restriction,” and performed regular genital exams on her as a teenager. Eventually, the author grew understandably resentful and tried to distance herself from her mother. As a young celebrity, however, McCurdy became vulnerable to eating disorders, alcohol addiction, self-loathing, and unstable relationships. Throughout the book, she honestly portrays Debra’s cruel perfectionist personality and abusive behavior patterns, showing a woman who could get enraged by everything from crooked eyeliner to spilled milk. At the same time, McCurdy exhibits compassion for her deeply flawed mother. Late in the book, she shares a crushing secret her father revealed to her as an adult. While McCurdy didn’t emerge from her childhood unscathed, she’s managed to spin her harrowing experience into a sold-out stage act and achieve a form of catharsis that puts her mind, body, and acting career at peace.

The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-982185-82-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.


A former New York City dancer reflects on her zesty heyday in the 1970s.

Discovered on a Manhattan street in 2020 and introduced on Stanton’s Humans of New York Instagram page, Johnson, then 76, shares her dynamic history as a “fiercely independent” Black burlesque dancer who used the stage name Tanqueray and became a celebrated fixture in midtown adult theaters. “I was the only black girl making white girl money,” she boasts, telling a vibrant story about sex and struggle in a bygone era. Frank and unapologetic, Johnson vividly captures aspects of her former life as a stage seductress shimmying to blues tracks during 18-minute sets or sewing lingerie for plus-sized dancers. Though her work was far from the Broadway shows she dreamed about, it eventually became all about the nightly hustle to simply survive. Her anecdotes are humorous, heartfelt, and supremely captivating, recounted with the passion of a true survivor and the acerbic wit of a weathered, street-wise New Yorker. She shares stories of growing up in an abusive household in Albany in the 1940s, a teenage pregnancy, and prison time for robbery as nonchalantly as she recalls selling rhinestone G-strings to prostitutes to make them sparkle in the headlights of passing cars. Complemented by an array of revealing personal photographs, the narrative alternates between heartfelt nostalgia about the seedier side of Manhattan’s go-go scene and funny quips about her unconventional stage performances. Encounters with a variety of hardworking dancers, drag queens, and pimps, plus an account of the complexities of a first love with a drug-addled hustler, fill out the memoir with personality and candor. With a narrative assist from Stanton, the result is a consistently titillating and often moving story of human struggle as well as an insider glimpse into the days when Times Square was considered the Big Apple’s gloriously unpolished underbelly. The book also includes Yee’s lush watercolor illustrations.

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-27827-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2022

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