CHOICES by Nancy Byrne


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A Colorado-based woman shares her missives with a “Spirit,” among other musings, in this debut memoir/personal growth book.

Early in this debut, Byrne relates how she spotted a daisy growing out of a boulder while hiking in Colorado. This served as inspiration for what she calls the Wildflower Theory: “Having survived less than optimal childhoods, marriages or just life situations…we have decided to make the very most out of what we have been given, trust in Spirit and ‘know’ that we can be whatever it is we want to be!” Subsequent chapters consist of Byrne’s discussions on such topics as being kind while also practicing an “enlightened selfishness” to embrace one’s self-worth. She sprinkles in autobiographical details along the way, including how she had a physically abusive father, which she says led to her being a people pleaser: “Taking a back seat to everyone, thinking that everyone’s needs were more important than [her] own.” Around the book’s midpoint, Byrne begins to share her “automatic writing” exercises that she now does with Spirit, in which she pens a letter about a personal challenge and then gets a “reply” that better balances her thoughts. For example, asking about the “purpose” of an accident that shattered her knee, she receives the “answer”: “the reason this happened is to get you to slow down and attend to your life both spiritual and physical.” Debut author Byrne brings an infectious tone of enthusiasm and passion to her story, so her book may inspire others to conduct their own self-awareness journeys. Her narrative can be a bit meandering, however, jumping from topic to topic and including asides such as how she doesn’t want her sons to text while driving. Unfortunately, some of the more compelling parts of her story are left underdeveloped, including her childhood, current life, and what she thinks her Spirit entity actually is. Still, she offers a commendable Everywoman’s exploration of personal growth.

Sincere if rambling discussion of self-discovery and empowerment.

Pub Date: Feb. 13th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1504326483
Page count: 104pp
Publisher: BalboaPress
Program: Kirkus Indie
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