I don’t remember reading too many memoirs in my life, but I certainly won’t forget the one I just finished. Undone: A Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life, by Michele Cushatt, proved to be a very worthy and moving read.
If you know me, you know I am an emotional guy. I turned in my ‘man card’ a long time ago, and am not afraid to cry while reading a book or watching a television show or movie. I was truly moved by Cushatt’s honest, authentic memoire.
I first heard of Cushatt through Michael Hyatt’s blog several years ago. Cushatt is the co-host on Hyatt’s Get Published Now course, as well as the weekly co-host for Hyatt’s weekly podcast, This is Your Life (one of my favorite listens every week).
Here are a few reasons why I believe Undone is a worthy read:
- Her story. Man… the subtitle (A Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life) accurately describes her life and this book. Between a cancer diagnosis, challenges in parenting, and one other major life changing event (I don’t want to give it away – read the book!), Michele and her husband have walked through some significant challenges in their lives. She was forced to make peace with a very unexpected life. Her example and perspective inspire and encourage me.
- Cushatt is a great writer. I appreciate good writing, and Michele is gifted as a writer. She writes descriptively, but is not over the top and overly verbose.
- The cover. You CAN judge a book by its over in this case. The cover of Undone might be one of the most creative and engaging covers I have ever seen. The cover drew me in before I even read page one.
- Lines like this:
- “Authenticity ministers far more than put-togetherness. And vulnerability builds a far stronger bond than perfection.”
- And like this: “Everywhere I turned, I felt like I was failing….I’ll never be good enough. Never! No matter how hard I work, it’s never enough.” I know this feeling all too well.
- “I’m not sure normal would keep me kneeling.” I resonate with a lack of ‘normalcy’ and my need for dependence on the Lord and kneeling in prayer. In 2 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul writes about the thorn in the flesh. My thorn(s) keep me kneeling and dependent.
- I appreciate the way she boldly challenges people to think through the pithy, and typically not helpful, advice we often give friends or family in the middle of crisis. My friend Blake Holmes address this in a sermon (Reflections on Job: The Kind of Friend You WANT to Be in a Time of Crisis) he did at Watermark Community Church when his son was diagnosed with Leukemia.
- She speaks to the challenges of both raising children and of blending families. She speaks very honestly about how hard parenting a difficult child can really be. When speaking about one of her children, She says, “It wasn’t fair the way he commandeered our family with his unpredictable and irrational rage. I’d given up everything for him! And what for? To watch this monster overrun my family.” When I read about their parenting challenges, I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing I wasn’t alone. I grew up in a blended family, and I know firsthand the challenges and opportunities that come when children are brought into marriage.
With enthusiasm, I recommend Undone by Michele Cushatt.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255; “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Image Credit: Neven Dragic, Flickr.