You know when you find THAT book? The one that you can’t put down, can’t stop making mental notes of passages you want to quote, the one that strikes a cord so deep inside of you that you are convinced, this book was written just for you?
Well folks, I found that book! Please let me introduce you to Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. It’s no secret that I love Strayed’s writing. Wild was one of my favourite books turned to movie combos in the last few years. What can I say, I’m a sucker for conflicted, complex and whole female characters, plus I have a soft spot for my fellow girls who aren’t afraid of a good curse word every now and again.
All that said I’m not usually one for non-fiction. I’m absolutely a fantasy/sci-fi kinda gal, which looking back is funny, as I’ve only ever featured non-fiction on this blog. I really need to step my literary game up and start featuring more reading material on this little corner of the Internet.
Tiny Beautiful Things was recommended to me by a cousin last Christmas, and I somehow resisted the urge to buy it until recently. To be honest, I had to work up the courage to venture into the self-help section of my bookstore to find this baby . I never really leave the fiction section, so anything outside of these aisles is unchartered territory, for me.
The tagline for Tiny Beautiful Things reads “Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar”, but I like to think it’s more than that. Inside the garish orange cover, are a series of short entries featuring a letter written to Strayed, during here days as an anonymous advice columnist, followed by her response. With every entry, Strayed not only holds up a mirror to her pen pal but also peels away layers of her own sorted past. Every story or anecdote somehow related back to her own life and adds so much context and meaning to her responses. The underlying message throughout the numerous entries is simple; you always have the power to change your surroundings or yourself.
From artistic frustration, to utter joy, followed by anger and loss, Strayed features a vast array of letters that will leave anyone saying “I can totally relate”.
This book truly puts you through an emotional gauntlet. So many nights before bed I would be giggling to myself, followed by silently sobbing, followed by shrieking “OMG how can someone just get me like this?” So, while I do endorse travelling with this book, maybe don’t read it on the plane, that is, if you’re an emotional rollercoaster like yours truly.
I really don’t know what else to say about this book guys, apart from urging you all to go out and read it. If you’re looking for a book that is real, that says it like it is and that doesn’t exactly give you that sugar coded self-help crap, while also being so true it hurts, hunt this book down.