“So many times, I had questioned whether I would make it…”
In Scars from a Memoir, the follow-up novel to Marni Mann’s spectacular debut, Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales, readers follow Nicole Brown as she works her way through rehab and through the pain of her past, trying to pave the way to a better future.
Life isn’t easy. And sometimes we find ourselves stumbling down a path we didn’t mean to traverse. Nicole’s entire life has been a path she never planned to traverse. And just as she learns to let go of the hand that has threatened to strangle every ounce of life from her, she also learns that letting go and coming to peace with it doesn’t mean it’s gone. Our past – the dark and light bits – is a permanent fixture in our very being. Forever.
Nicole’s story is a hard one to read. And you don’t have to be a drug addict to relate to it. I’m not a recovering addict, but I am a recovering sufferer of life. Having spent the better part of a decade in a very dark and lonely place. Having made my fair share of very bad choices, and having to come to terms with the consequences of those choices, I often found myself sitting back after reading a few chapters and reflecting on my own journey. And the many hiccups along the way.
So many novels give us an unrealistic view of life and paint the picture of a cheery perfect ending, but the hard truth of the matter is… life is anything but a fairytale. And while fairytales are wonderful to read, they don’t really give us hope. It’s the stories we can relate to, the stories that, although riddled with sadness and doubt, also show us hope and kindness and love. Those are the stories we learn the most from.
Anyone who has crawled around in the pits of despair knows how hard it is to wash the stench of the darkness off. But, while it does take a great deal of effort, it is possible to be clean again. And while there is no escaping our past and no guarantee of what lies ahead, we should never stop trying to be better. To help others. And to find happiness. And love. Nicole reminds us of this.
Nicole’s story is one that everyone should read, young and old. For the younger readers, her story serves as a lesson of what can happen. And for the older readers, a reminder that we have survived.
To say that Marni Mann is going places in the literary world (and in life) would be quite an understatement. Her words, and their lessons, I know, will transcend time.
A New Englander at heart, Marni Mann, now a Floridian is inspired by the sandy beaches and hot pink sunsets of Sarasota. A writer of literary fiction, she taps a mainstream appeal and shakes worldwide taboos, taking her readers on a dark, harrowing, and gritty journey. When she’s not nose deep in her laptop, she’s scouring for chocolate, traveling, reading, or walking her four-legged children. Scars from a Memoir is her second book, a sequel to the highly regarded Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales: A Story of Addiction.