In her debut self-help guide, Chastain, a successful businesswoman, encourages readers with examples of good fortune, serendipity and intuition from her own life.
Anything is possible if you just believe, Chastain says in the Horatio Alger–esque story of her own life. The narrative leapfrogs over much of the expected autobiographical material straight ahead to several life-altering incidents that attempt to prove her point. Showing a bent toward the mystical, the author recounts how a heavily metaphorical dream steered her away from a duplicitous college boyfriend who might have financially destroyed her—or worse. During a relatively thankless retail job, Chastain’s attention to customer service leads to her proverbial “big break.” Later, grappling over whether to remain at the sexist workplace that paid her relocation fee or accept a competing, tempting counteroffer, Chastain makes a tough choice based more on ethics than comfort; the positive outcome is surprising. Chastain’s willingness to take on new challenges even leads to a temporary but satisfying brush with Hollywood glamour, though no celebrity identities or project titles are given. In fact, the author’s coy refusal to name names or go into much detail in these true-life parables is often a drawback. Even though this book keeps the focus on life lessons in a refreshing change from tell-all exhibitionism, the author’s bare-bones approach leaves this slim volume a bit too slender. The author went from a small town, South Carolina upbringing to her present residence in Switzerland, and readers will be left hungry for a fuller description of how that happened. As it stands, this volume is a collection of widely scattered milestones. The book’s brevity is all the more frustrating because Chastain exhibits a knack for easy storytelling; reading her prose is like listening to an old friend.
A supermodel-thin volume of upbeat, can-do mantras that would prosper with a higher page count.