Trying to Be Good: The Healing Powers of Lying, Cheating, Stealing, and Drugs by popular radio host, theater maker, online personality, and storyteller Emelia Symington Fedy is her dark and comical story of her addiction to self-help and absolutely obsessive odyssey to find inner peace at all costs.
A ruthless inquiry into her own demons, Emelia never lets herself off the hook on her search, and after a lifetime of misadventures - spending close to $90,000 and two decades hunting down shamans, hypnotists, soul advisors, and online gurus; turning to drugs, bad sex, vaginal weightlifting classes, crystal bowl regression ceremonies, and cosmic dolphins trying to fill the void - her spiritual reckoning finally came when the death of her mom coincided with the birth of her first child.
Rocked with grief, Emelia had no choice but to quit her life-long quest for contentment. She quit drugs. She quit yoga. She quits the search. And in turning towards her pain, Emelia finally finds what she's been longing for her whole life. She can't escape. She's here. She can feel it all.
If you could sum up Trying to Be Good in three words, what would they be?
Raw, real, present
What was one of the most memorable moments of Trying to Be Good?
I had visceral responses to several stories -- I recognized the teenage lying Emelia from the early part of the book and my heart broke for the older Emelia saying goodbye to her dying mother. Every Emelia in between was memorable too though.
Which character – as performed by Emelia Symington Fedy – was your favorite?
Emelia the Self-Help Addict is one of my favorites
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, but I had to spread it out because I quickly realized I was going to be sad when it was over. I forced myself to not binge. I listened on the way to work, before bed, while cleaning, at the gym, all over the place. Emelia was with me!
Any additional comments?
Emelia is a master storyteller. Hr bookcast is personal, raw, funny, moving AND well sound-designed to boot - making it a more interesting choice than a mere audiobook or podcast. Emelia writes and speaks about her life with such brilliant honesty. She has total control of her voice and her read never seems inauthentic or performative (something I'm sensitive to in narrators). She's just WITH you, telling it like it is. You will hear yourself and your dearest women in her words. Prepare to feel: inspired, uncomfortable, safe, scared, excited, energized, disgusted, tickled, joyful and PUNCHED IN THE HEART.