4 out of 4 stars
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In her book Be the Exception, author Annie Meehan writes about her harrowing childhood experiences that have shaped her into the compassionate woman she is today. Her life path is strewn with numerous heartbreaking moments, but the majestic butterfly on the front cover speaks to becoming a new creation as the past is left behind.
The author experienced extreme trauma from growing up in a dysfunctional situation where her dad abandoned her entire family. Her mom worked full time and did not meet the physical or emotional needs of the seven children. In order to survive, the kids found food in dumpsters or were taken in by kind people who offered them proper nourishment and shelter.
Her mother, suffering from a mental illness, fostered an environment of uncertainty and a lack of stability. Many times, the author had to fend for herself and her siblings as an angry tirade from her mom would result in them all being banished from the home. The author's transparent account of the abuse she endured was difficult to read and often brought tears to this reader's eyes. But, the resiliency of her spirit to overcome all of that to be where she is today is inspiring.
One word that could be used to describe this entire book is honesty. As the author shares the intimate and painful details of her own experiences, she instructs on how to drop the fake smiles, let yourself feel the pain, and face reality so the heart can mend. None of what she suggests is hard-nosed advice. The tone of the material is like a friend coming by your side, holding your hand and speaking to you gently. The inner work she has done to bring healing to her life is being offered to readers so the truth can set them free.
The book is not long, but it is power packed with written exercises to engage in at the end of every chapter to get you thinking about your self-beliefs and outlooks on life. There are quotes by famous people, as well as by the author, sprinkled in along the way to bring clarity of an idea she wants her readers to wake up and embrace.
What I liked most about this book was that it wasn't 'pushy', and I felt the care that had been taken in putting the material together to be of help for those who need it. And, I must say, that all of us at some level need to do an emotional self-examination to be sure that we are living the best lives ever, and Be the Exception would appeal to all who desire to rid themselves of unnecessary baggage and start anew. Only those who don't wish to read self-help wouldn't find this one to their liking.
I found only a handful of slight errors that can easily be fixed. Spaces need to be inserted at the end of a sentence or two where there is a period. I am giving this book a 4 out of 4 stars for its applicable advice and deeply touching message. Many will find the wisdom they have been searching for to break out of a negative cycle and be the exception.
Be the Exception
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