Hatching Charlie is the story of evolution. It describes the evolution of a boy to a man, a child to a parent, a wild teenager into a responsible adult. It is also a story of the evolving awareness that psychic pain can be healed. And, while most people look to another for that healing, this autobiography reminds the listener that relationships with others are only part of the story. In fact, true growth and healing comes from knowing how to forgive and then accept the self, and Charles McCormack's journey helps the listener learn this in a gentle but powerful way.
Hatching Charlie is a brave book. For a therapist, still seeing patients, to reveal so much of his own pain and suffering takes guts. Opening oneself to this much vulnerability means that the author has found a way to look at himself without shame. This book, therefore, becomes a roadmap for others who suffer, providing hope and insight that someone else might work through their traumas too. So, while the book serves as a memoir and as a source of healing to Charles McCormack, it is also a way for him to continue counseling others.
It becomes clear that his search for happiness is universal, and that his journey is in fact our journey too. He teaches us valuable lessons; that we cannot rely solely on someone else to meet our needs, that happiness isn't necessarily a constant, and that it is possible to look back on our lives with fondness, even if there was pain there too. Written with humor, humility, clinical expertise, bare bones honesty, and a loving respect for life and the human condition, Hatching Charlie heroically breaks new ground in the autobiography genre.
I'll start off by saying I know the man behind the book. Although, not as much as I thought I did after completing it. This is an interesting look into the life and mind of Charles McCormack; and it's one that I found myself wanting to read (or listen, as I used mostly the audio book) "just a bit more" because it was so engaging. It evokes a myriad of emotions that most people, on some level I believe, can relate to. You may not have lived through what he has, but the book is put forth in a way that you can relate pieces to your own life, as anyone who has had the struggles of life thrust upon them. As long as you're open to the realities of life, warts and all, I believe you'll find the life story of Charles interesting. He may not have the desire to sugar coat the harshness of his life, whether it be brash words or descriptive depictions of what he went through from child to man, but you'll get an honest account from his point of view.