Saturday, 6 July 2019

The Sunday Story Club

The Sunday Story Club by Doris Brett and Kerry Cue (Review)

Doris Brett: The Sunday Story Club
Published by Pan Macmillan Australia

Release Date: June 25th 2019

Genre: Non-Fiction

Retail Price: $32.99 AUD

Purchase from: Book Depository, Macmillan Australia, and Amazon

CW/TW: emotional abuse, physical abuse, fertility issues, mention of paedophilia, anorexia, bullying, cancer, and murder.

4.5 Stars
'I'm sorry, I didn't mean to cry. But the salons have given me the opportunity to look back and think about my life...I don't talk to anyone about these feelings outside of the salon.'
We all carry stories within us - wrenching, redemptive, extraordinary, and laced with unexpected and hard-won wisdom.
These are the real-life stories that a group of women tell each other when they gather for a deep and structured conversation - once a month in a suburban living room - about the things that really matter.
They discover that life can be a heartbeat away from chaos; that bad things happen to good people; that good people do outrageous things; that the desire for transformation is enduringly human.
A mother tells of the heartbreaking loss of control when her daughter develops anorexia. A sister reveals the high psychological cost of being hated by a sibling over the course of her life. Husbands leave wives; wives take lovers; friendships shatter; wrong choices turn out to be right ones; agency is lost and re-claimed.
Profound, layered and clear-sighted, this collection of real-life stories reveals the emotional untidiness that lies below the shiny surface of modern life and reminds us of the power of real conversation to enlighten, heal and transform.
Firstly, I would like to thank Pan Macmillan Australia for providing me with a free finished copy of this book to read and review. 

The Sunday Story Club is a hard one for me to review, as it's essentially a collection of stories from real life people. Thus, it's quite difficult to express how I felt overall when each story provoked different feelings from me. 

The Sunday Story Club is a collection of intriguing, awe-inspiring, insightful stories by real-life people. These stories provoke the reader into wondering about their own lives and their own experiences. The stories spanned a range of different topics, from having a sister who hated you to discovering your ancestor's past. All stories were so different, yet all of them had some element of being easy to relate to. As a younger reader, this sense of relatability was not as prominent as it would be for more mature readers, as I am too young to have done much with my life.

However, I was able to relate to specific elements of each story, such as struggling to gain the courage to speak out and be yourself, losing friendships abruptly, and wanting to learn more about your past. While each story was not relatable to me personally, they all made me realise just how incredible women are and how courageous women can be. There are so many parts in these stories where I would have expected these women to give up or break down. And sometimes they might have. But these women all got back up and continued on with their dreams, goals, and with their lives. In some of these stories, terrible things happened to these women and they still continued to move forward in their lives and move on. These stories have inspired me and make me want to have that kind of bravery in my own life.

The most incredible thing to me about this book is that these are all real stories, told by real women, to a group of strangers. These women all not only had the courage to endure these experiences, but to sit in a group full of strangers, and tell their stories. They then had the courage to allow their personal stories to be published in a non-fiction novel. Their courage astounds me and once again, it inspires me, making me want to be that brave.

This novel is not only insightful but helpful, as it actually provides you with the basic tools to start up your own salon. Before I read this book I thought salons were places where you got your hair done, and so I was quite confused with the use of the word 'salon' when I read the blurb, to say the least. This novel explains that salons were formal gatherings for people to discuss political, philosophical and intellectual topics, originating in 18th Century France. At the end of the novel, the authors compiled a few basic steps and a range of discussion questions to use when creating your own salon. This is incredibly helpful for those who wish to start their own salons, or something similar to one.

Overall, I found this book to be a very interesting read, as it was intriguing to see how different people's lives played out, and their different experiences. It wasn't only entertaining, however, but also inspiring, as it makes you realise just how incredible women and people in the world are, and it makes you aspire to be just as incredible as them.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for this thoughtful review. We hope readers will run their own salons with their friends. In an age where we reduce communication to a quick emoji it is so refreshing to experience a deeper conversation. Kerry Cue The Sunday Story Club