I've owned this book for a couple of years now and realized I never wrote a review. Ms Nichols' book isn't your typical self-help book that tries to cheer lead you into a new take on your life. So many of those feel either patronizing or phony and they just didn't *talk* to that inner part of me that I was trying to so hard to reach and change. Nichols' *talked* to that inner me with stories of her own life that are were so genuine I just couldn't help but relate to.
My life's history and circumstances are completely different from what Nichols grew up with, yet I felt like she was in the room listening and giving me some honest earthy wisdom to put to use. Her stories, how she tells them and what she learned from them, resonated strong and honest with me. Our lives are totally different, and yet the pain and challenges to our humanity were the same.
Too many books of this type preach the usual "be positive, smile and you will be happy" message and to be honest, that just doesn't hit the right notes for me. Nichols' does say the same thing, but it's less than 1/4 of the book. The rest is how to bounce back when you get beaten up, how to take your scars and use them to get stronger. It also teaches you to look at yourself and what you're doing or not doing that makes you unhappy by example. In a way, Ms Nichols is like that wise Grandmother we all wish we had who could gently knock some sense and perspective in your head.
I've owned this for a little over 2 years now, I reread it every 6 months or so and *still* get a "AHA!" from it. If I could I would give this woman the most embarrassing of hugs for the warmth, compassion and practical wisdom this book has given, and continues giving me.