MADNESS, ADDICTION & LOVE by Lilly White

MADNESS, ADDICTION & LOVE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This memoir by a spiritual coach reflects on a life full of hardship and offers insights to readers who may be struggling themselves.

White (365 Ways to Power Up Your Life, 2015, etc.) reports her experience as a Reiki master, a Trinity Table meditation facilitator, and lecturer. She also recounts the challenges that she faced, especially in her younger years, from addiction and family dysfunction; she also tells of her recovery from alcoholism and offers a host of psychological and spiritual reflections on intense periods of difficulty, including dealing with the suicides of her daughter and brother, a house fire, and her own health issues and debt. The memoir often has a diarylike quality, sharing courageous details of painful experiences as well as the author’s reflections on her own oversights and regrets. The book is difficult to follow at times, however; for instance, the narrative begins mentioning regular trips to Bali without providing any cohesive background on how or why this practice started. It also refers to “archetypes” exhibited by the author or those in her life—such as knight, athlete, Goddess, child, or warrior—without providing a comprehensive context for readers unacquainted with them. Late in the book, she devotes several pages to gluten sensitivity and related concepts without any prelude, although she eventually shares her opinion that she, her daughters, and her mother were all profoundly affected by difficulties with gluten and/or sugar. That said, White does succeed at encouraging openness regarding mental illness in families and in society, noting that such illness is, to some extent, part of every person’s experience. Her 30-day challenge for mind, body, and spirit at the end of the book also offers straightforward suggestions for reflection and renewal.

An earnest attempt to share hard-won lessons about addiction, mental illness, family relationships, and the power of love. 

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4602-9339-3
Publisher: FriesenPress
Program: Kirkus Indie
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