It’s My Choice initially looks like a self-help book; the cover design features a rainbow, and the back cover copy notes, “I believe that it is by loving ourselves we can make progress and become better.” It’s actually more of a memoir, though author S.M. Chung tries to show throughout that choices matter.
The book opens with Chung fighting with her husband. Soon after, he has a fatal heart attack and she is left to care for their children alone. Before long, she faces a health crisis of her own and hopes to make changes for the better. Relocating the family to Hawaii, she is emotionally distant with her children and struggles to find balance in life, at work, and in her own skin, with varied results.
The writing in Choice is generally clear and easy to understand, but Chung makes some puzzling decisions. The most distracting is her decision to put every variation of the word “choose” in boldface type. It’s as if she doesn’t trust readers to understand her message and so must underscore the idea each time. She also focuses on the idea that what we think about is what we manifest, which is intriguing if overdone – but instead of the correct spelling of “thoughts,” she writes “thots” (as in “Thots are things”) numerous times, an unwelcome distraction.
After moving to Hawaii, Chung decides to take charge of her health by jogging with coworkers. Consistently last among them, she nevertheless signs up and completes a marathon, one 15-minute mile at a time. It’s one of the book’s best passages, and we can be grateful she has included it.
It’s My Choice is an interesting look at grief and its aftermath and may be of some comfort to the recently bereaved, though it lacks the universal appeal the author hoped for.
Also available as an ebook.