Cheryl Rice, Where Have I Been All My Life? (She Writes Press, 2014)
Today, I’m pleased to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for Where Have I Been All My Life? In this honest and heartfelt memoir, Cheryl Rice takes us along on the difficult road she had to travel after losing her mother to cancer. Attempting to heal herself, she started therapy — and promptly fell desperately in love with her therapist. Now what? Could she learn to give up her addiction to unattainable love, and embrace the love she already had in abundance at home — and most of all, within herself?
This kind of book has to walk the fine line between self-revelation and self-indulgence, but Cheryl, a first-time author, does so gracefully. Her writing is fluent and engaging, and although she claims she never learned how to play as a child, she has a lively sense of humor that helps to bring balance to her reflections on loss and deprivation. This prevents the narrative from becoming maudlin or depressing, and gives a welcome sense of perspective.
Short, non-chronological chapters keep things moving, and I particularly liked the notes and letters that are sprinkled throughout the book: one to her therapist pleading to be allowed to redecorate his office, an offer he wisely refuses; several (never sent) to a friend who suddenly and traumatically cut off their relationship years ago; most poignantly, a “ghostwritten” letter from Cheryl’s mother, giving a picture of her own flawed, needy, but very human nature. We all want to communicate our truths, to be heard and understood by our loved ones; the letter format symbolizes this wish, while also effectively capturing the personality of the writer.
I feel privileged to have met Cheryl Rice through the pages of her book. It seems most suitable that in her career as a speaker and life coach she is trying to help other women to find and express their own truths, and I thank her for sharing her story with all of us.
Review copy source: Paperback from TLC Book Tours