3 out of 4 stars
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Broke Open, written by Lela Becker, is a non-fiction title; it is written using the first person. Throughout the book, the author recounts her life story and how she overcame trauma and health issues.
The author was born in Florida in the 1970s. Her father was a poor kid from Philly that fell in love with a poor woman from West Virginia; they had four girls. Her dad was a happy young man when he got sentenced to thirty years in prison for selling marijuana in the 1980s, and this heartbreaking ordeal took a toll on the author, resulting in trauma and poor health. The book narrates how she searched for and found a cure for her issues.
I found both positive and negative aspects worth mentioning in this memoir. Starting with the positive, what I liked the most about it was the author’s narration of a life-changing trip she made to India. She took this trip as a last resort, a Hail Mary, to find a cure, and I appreciated how the author described her experiences. The author worked very hard to change her life, and I enjoyed reading about how she overcame so many obstacles. I particularly liked reading about how she graduated as a Practitioner of Ayurveda Therapy and found the confidence to write and publish articles.
On the other hand, speaking of negatives, I felt that the narrative was unnecessarily confusing and fragmented, especially when the author goes back and forth in time. Moreover, I felt that the timeline of her memories was not clear, and it was also repetitive. This aspect was what I disliked the most about the book. For instance, when she’s describing her first periods, the author briefly mentions that she later went through early menopause, but this topic isn’t addressed afterward.
Lastly, I rate this non-fiction book 3 out of 4 stars. It seems professionally edited, for I only found a few mistakes in it. I am taking a star away due to the negatives previously explained. Still, it is an inspiring, heartwarming story of hope and healing that I would recommend to readers who face similar challenges. If you don’t like non-linear narratives, you might want to skip this one. Prospective readers should also be aware that this book contains non-borderline profanity and references to drugs, which some readers may prefer to avoid. If you’re a sensitive reader, this is probably not the best book for you.
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