Never Good Enough… UNTIL NOW, by Sharon Gardiner, is a heart-wrenching story of the author’s arduous process toward liberation from her mostly harrowing past. While her history has sweet spots, her abusive childhood created decades of difficulty. Despite her many challenges, Gardiner became a caring nurse and then, perhaps surprisingly, a police officer. When the inhumanity she witnessed while policing threatened her emotional stability, she shifted back to nursing.
Gardiner’s book merges memoir and self help, with plot points that follow her life’s trails and tribulations. Born to a distant mother and an often-abusive father who divorced one another, Gardiner blamed herself for familial unrest, which then charted her course for guilt. She was raped during a promiscuous binge. Plagued by self-doubt, her marriage collapsed. Suicide appealed. Not wanting her emotional handicaps to hamper her children, she let her husband raise them. Finally, wanting to give without short-changing herself, she found a way to develop a fulfilling life of her own.
This book shares her pearls of earned wisdom, such as: weak moments reveal powerful lessons; conscious choice improves flawed behaviors; the past need not predict the future. In Gardiner’s words, “I am living my second half of a century and I want it to be exceptional.”
By the end, readers will sympathize with Gardiner. She persevered and ultimately overcame. But unfortunately, Never Good Enough… UNTIL NOW requires a solid, professional edit to be the memorable book it could be. Repitition, both of ideas and in word usage (“I found some cheap wine that cost very little…”), impede the flow of her narrative arc and slow the pace. In addition, grammatical errors will give pause to careful readers. If Gardiner tightened the narrative and tidied up the technical details that hamper her story, she might have a winner on her hands.
Also available at hardcover and ebook.