Now before I start telling you about this book I will let you into a little secret. I’ve read a few of these types of memoirs but I always have an overwhelming sense of guilt when I enjoy them. Not because I enjoy people’s hardships, or difficult lives but because occasionally I come across one that is really well written, which transports me (much like a work of fiction) into a completely different world. I always ponder why reading about the struggles people face in their lives is such a fascinating read, memoirs are exceptionally popular – even the most gruesome ones. The main conclusion I find myself coming to is that the ability to expand our knowledge of the world and the people in it is something that people are inclined to move towards. I am genuinely intrigued to learn about the lives of other people, as I find the strength of other individuals can illustrate how strong we are as human beings. Furthermore, the minor things in life that get blown out of proportion are very much put into perspective.
What is it?
Not My Idea of Heaven is Lindsey Rosa’s tale of her journey from a religious sect, to removing herself from this restrictive lifestyle. I feel awful for not connecting with the narrator of these memoirs but much of her discourse I found incredulous. Often when she is depicting situations that have happened, she tends to pawn off the blame onto someone else which can often feel infuriating. It is hard to determine throughout whether the perspective of events is a retrospective one, or an account of the thoughts she had at the time of each.
As memoirs go, it is not particularly dismal. The factors that influence who she is in the world today are heart wrenching, and her upbringing must have been simply horrendous. Her struggles with her mental illness and eating disorder are equally distressing. However, her memoirs are full of swift movement. Each event she discusses is moved on from, and despite her beginnings, she does not seem to beg for sympathy unlike some of the other memoir style books I have read do.
Why should you read it?
After reading this memoir I felt extremely grateful for the things that I have in life, the stable childhood I received and the path of life that I have developed. If you do not like reading memoir books then obviously this would not be a good read, but if you have an inner nosy parker, and find the lives of those who have suffered fascinating then this is one of the better ones.
Have you read this book, what did you think? If not do you think you will?