Sharon Emery struggled with the losses and limits she faced but couldn't change – no matter how hard she tried.
And she did try. First with her incurable severe stutter, then with the death of her daughter, Jessica, and the too-early deaths of her own younger siblings. Meanwhile, her “broken” voice meant her long career in communications was regularly a battle.
Emery wrote this memoir to help guide her children on their own life journeys, stressing the amazing resilience of humans beings. Exhibit A: herself.
In the foreword, Steve Gleason – former NFL player with the New Orleans Saints, now living with ALS, and a friend of Emery's son, front man for the band Lord Huron – provides a compelling introduction to what we can gain from what we lose.
Idea: Emery offers a powerful and gut-wrenching story of personal loss. She chronicles her survival path without minimizing her loss in a way that empowers readers who are similarly trying to cope with any loss or form of devastation.
Prose: Emery is a journalist and a gifted writer. Her prose is concise but not stark, flows seemingly effortlessly, and prompts real tears as she shares her struggles. Despite the painful hand life deals her, Emery discovers an inner strength that comes through in her writing.
Originality: This is a highly personal story with lessons for all. Emery's journey is a distinctive mix of grief and hope that will resonate with readers.
Character/Execution: Emery writes in such a way that her story and those who matter most in it become real to the reader. Hers is a sad but powerful journey that envelops the reader as they vicariously experience her loss and her resurgence.
Blurb: Powerful and raw, It's Hard Being You is a heart-wrenching story of loss and survival, a reminder that our suffering does not own or define us.
Date Submitted: January 27, 2022