A self-help memoir about one woman overcoming a broken marriage and alcoholism to find spiritual fulfillment.
“Magical chapters can start with really sucky endings,” writes Muldoon (Giant Love Song, 2018, etc.), and she begins this remembrance with one such conclusion. Her marriage to fellow actor “Reed” (names have been changed) collapsed in divorce after she learned that he’d been having an affair with a former Miss Universe. Suddenly, the author was facing life as a single mother of a 3-year-old, so to make ends meet, she became a children’s party entertainer and auditioned for acting jobs in commercials and theater productions. As she did so, she took a year off from pursuing romantic relationships to focus on her own emotional healing. Her period of celibacy, she says, forced her to rely on herself, but she eventually met “Will,” a fellow actor and a cancer survivor. Although they’d assumed that he was sterile from chemotherapy, she became pregnant before they married and went on to have two more children. Muldoon finally confronted her drinking problem—which began in her teen years, after her mother’s death—by attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and reading Helen Schucman’s 1976 book A Course in Miracles. Now she considers herself a spiritual coach and “celebrant,” and she directs the SpeakEasy Spiritual Community. Later, when she got a call from the aforementioned Miss Universe, lamenting that Reed was seeing someone else, she responded with compassion, rather than vengeful glee. Muldoon re-creates her story with vivid descriptions, believable dialogue, and enjoyable portraits of such people as her occasional roommate “Skye.” Along the way, she offers keen observations on the “scripts and structures” that underpin the modern dating game, which subordinate women’s needs to men’s senses of entitlement. The timeline can be a bit confusing when the memoir loops back to past events, but the book’s arrangement is more thematic than chronological; the 16 chapter titles align with a final list of exhortations. The author also offers concrete, valuable examples of how the “feminine Divine” can help turn trauma into spiritual wisdom, which should particularly appeal to fans of Louise Hay’s work.
A sassy, colorful take on New-Age insights.