Author: LuAnn Billett
Genre: Memoir, Non-fiction
Trigger Warning - Drug Addiction, Emotional Abuse, Overdose
This memoir did not come off as a biography. Billett did well in making her life more as a story than a series of real-life events. There were ups and downs and with her clever use of avoiding chronological events, she succeeded in presenting a pleasant yet suspenseful portrayal of her life. For certain moments she used foreshadowing teasingly but when you did reach that moment the full explanation was a reward. And growing up as a sensitive child myself, I admired the relationship I developed with her through her depictions of her feelings and eventual growth.
In-Depth Review (contains spoilers)
The growth throughout this book is incredible. She begins as a very reserved and sensitive child to a strong woman who knows what she believes in. In some situations, it almost appeared as if her sensitivity “superpower” did more harm than good but in the end, she figured out how it worked best. Raising her kids and finding the real love of her life.
Something incredibly frustrating throughout the piece though, was the fact that she kept struggling with relationships. The struggle made sense as a real-life scenario. Those difficulties happen. But her friends kept making me angry! Did they not see her struggle? Couldn’t they have helped her more? Pushed some sense at her? Overall, they were extremely supportive and were there for her after the bad situations. But where were they before the bad happened? I kept wanting to yell at them, “Can’t you see that she needs you?” I was so happy when Shane offered to marry her. As LuAnn stated, it was old-fashioned and not happening, but it was a nice sentiment. At least someone was there in her biggest time of need.
As much as I understood her struggles, it was still so difficult to not throttle her when she wouldn’t really stand up for herself. She would always half-heartedly do it. With Chris for example: she pointed out the drugs and he said that he would stop. But it’s never really that easy with drug addicts. And she suspected it too but just left it be. I wanted to scream at her for not wanting to acknowledge the truth, but I still understood that she still had some growth to go through. And thank goodness she finally did.
It is amazing when she finally shows so serious strength. Getting through the death of a significant over, even one that was causing problems, is difficult. I was so proud over how she changed her life after that. Especially when she stood up to her father and put her foot down over the disrespect he would show her. And that growth also helped her further her superpower. She used it to stay tuned in with her kids. She was able to really see her sons and daughter and respond to their needs.
I was gushing when Craig pointed out that Gabby was so much like LuAnn. Not the child LuAnn, but the adult LuAnn. Her strength and beauty shined through onto her daughter, proving that she could raise children as strong and even stronger than herself. But it was those moments that made me want more of Craig. After so much sad for LuAnn, I wanted to see her with her gift of a husband and her children. I wanted to dwell more on her happiness after those struggles. Because that’s the point of struggling; you then bask in the success afterwards.