Idea: This is a straightforward, chronological narrative of a woman navigating the stresses of modern life and working to achieve what she believes to be the American Dream. The author's ultimate realizations about the importance of maintaining perspective, preserving one's health, and being mindful, are meaningfully conveyed.
Prose: The prose is strong, sometimes funny, often poignant. The author has a clear handle on storytelling.
Originality: Although the recounting of the working life of a single mother is not fully original, Freedle offers a unique perspective on the topic of achieving professional success, by advocating for balance and self-care. Through the author's candid reflections, she appeals to readers' own vulnerabilities and hard truths. Maintaining a positive outlook after her stroke, the author provides an inspirational reading experience.
Execution: The author tells her story honestly, recounting her conflicted decision making, regrets, and realizations with ease. Readers are likely to find her struggles to balance work and family with mental and physical health, immensely relatable.
Date Submitted: October 11, 2019
Who could be grateful for a stroke? In this compelling memoir, Laurie Freedle, who suffered that life-altering event, makes a convincing case for how the Universe, after trying to help her manifest the life she wanted in quiet ways for years, delivered a necessary shout. “Even in the
first hours after it occurred,” she writes, “I was very calm. There was a subtle, underlying assurance, like the stroke was ordained from some higher place.”
Freedle was always a hard-working perfectionist. By age 42, she was raising two children alone, slaving at stressful corporate jobs, suffering multiple health issues. A year as a massage therapist offered reprieve, but she returned to the grind for the money. Sick again, she radically downsized, even renting her home and moving into a small apartment, to save enough money to quit at 50.
Then, at age 49, Freedle had a stroke that injured her brain’s visual cortex. Her company’s pension review board approved her for early retirement at age 50. Coincidence? Freedle doesn’t think so. Today, she enjoys a fulfilling life pursuing her “Soul’s Purpose to share this information on how to be a powerful and fearless manifestor…with you.”
Freedle’s narration is colorful and specific, detailing, for instance, a vision she had years before the stroke of gently cradling her swaddled brain in her arms. Mundane details of her corporate jobs slow the story’s momentum, but it otherwise drives toward a powerful, life-changing climax. While she doesn’t sugarcoat her disabilities, she is filled with gratitude: for health insurance, her supportive family, that the stroke wasn’t worse, and more. Freedle is also unusually vulnerable with a therapist. As her new life unfolds, author and readers both experience a great sense of relief that her future seems bright.
The book closes with nine invaluable daily practices, such as meditation and intention setting. All told, this inspiring book will encourage readers eager to manifest the life they desire.