Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Reckless Years: A Diary of Love and Madness by Heather Chaplin

Synopsis: Trapped in a dissatisfying marriage for nearly a decade, New York journalist Heather Chaplin finally summons the courage to leave. On her own, she finds herself intoxicatingly free, pursuing adventure, and juggling romance on two continents in multiple cities. She contemplates the meaning of life; she falls for a handsome Irishman.

But as the adventures progress, Chaplin’s own reckless choices send her spiraling downward—and toward a reckoning she’s avoided all her life. Pulled from Chaplin’s own diaries, Reckless Years is a raw, propulsive debut: unfailingly profound and impossible to put down.  

My Thoughts: I have a hard time reviewing memoirs. I really enjoy reading them, but when it comes time to review them, I always hesitate. Who am I to comment on someone else's reality? Especially a reality that includes some dark times. I love Heather's voice; the way she writes is so descriptive that you actually feel like you're sitting next to her. The book is comprised of actual journal entries, so what you get is so raw, vulnerable, and at times, completely relatable. You'll laugh with her, cry with her, and definitely root for her while reading this book.

I loved watching Chaplin try to regain her life and herself. She definitely didn't always make the best choices, but really, who does? She lived in the moment and I was really impressed (and jealous) with her ability to just up and head to Dublin to see her brother. Also, I really want to know which band her brother was touring with, but that's just me being nosey.

Chaplin's eventual downward spiral can be hard to read because it's so raw, but I loved it because since it's a memoir, you already know how it ends. Chaplin is now the founder of a journalism and design program at The New School. I'm sure she's still dealing with some things, but knowing she ends up successful (and I hope even more, happy) leaves the story with a real sense of hope.

Pick this one up if you're looking for a unique voice and a raw, hopeful story.

A copy of this book was provided by Simon and Schuster Canada, but as always, opinions are my own.

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