Artist, novelist, and Christian author Jean Posusta’s ambitious self-help book blends knowledge gleaned from a social services career with personal experience in overcoming devastating life circumstances.
Posusta tackles dozens of social and mental health issues: alcoholism, co-dependency, surviving the suicide of a spouse, emotional abuse, low self-esteem, and more. She cites neurological discoveries, scientific findings, Bible quotes, and ideas gleaned from New York Times bestsellers Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen Covey, and Caroline Myss, among others, to illustrate her key point: that the power of change exists within each of us. By changing our thinking, perception, and narrative of ourselves, we can achieve happiness.
The author’s relaxed, irreverent tone—“If your butt is squeezing up about now”—is that of an uncensored, straight-talking friend/therapist offering tough-love lessons on life, relationships, self-esteem, and other self-improvement topics. Readers who click with her voice will appreciate Posusta’s anecdotes and guidance in moving past stumbling blocks to achieve a more satisfying and productive life.
But while well-meaning and wide-ranging, drawing from Twelve-Step, Enneagram, and other existing ideas, Posusta’s book (100-plus chapters across 675-plus pages) meanders and winds. Its hodgepodge narrative reads as if these entries were standalone pieces written for newsletters, columns, and blogs, only later strung together for this book and, perhaps, rewritten with minimal connective tissue. Many contain long lists and ask readers to write responses to questions or fill-in-the-blanks.
Lack of footnoted sources limit verification of quotes and facts, reducing Posusta’s credibility; Internet slang such as “LOL,” casual interjections like “Ha Ha,” and four-letter words weaken the profundity of the message.
Overall, this reads more like a personal journal with copious notes on ideas the author found intriguing. Overlong and frequently tedious, it nonetheless has potential; a tight developmental edit could help Posusta achieve her generous, grand vision.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.