And She Was Never the Same Again

A Multigenerational Memoir

Non-Fiction - Memoir
296 Pages
Reviewed on 06/02/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

And She Was Never the Same Again: A Multigenerational Memoir is a work of non-fiction in the grief, self-help, and memoir subgenres. Penned by author Natasha Pryde Trujillo, Ph.D., this intriguing work delves into the profound impacts of loss across generations, cultures, and identities. Through narratives spanning near-death experiences, trauma, chronic illness, and the stigmatized death of a partner, the book explores the complexities of grief and its enduring effects on individuals and families. Each chapter offers a poignant exploration of loss, highlighting the diverse ways in which individuals navigate their sorrow and showing that we are both unique and united in our experiences of grief.

Author Natasha Pryde Trujillo has done a lot of soul-searching to craft a deeply introspective and emotionally resonant memoir on a very difficult topic indeed. I enjoyed how the narrative brought together personal tales but also invited readers to examine the multifaceted nature of grief from a range of different viewpoints. The synthesis at the end of each chapter provides valuable insights into the manifestation and maintenance of grief over time, leading to a deeper understanding of the grieving process. I felt this organizational touch would be highly useful to those wanting to refer back to the passages that impacted them most. More than a mere memoir, this book serves as a profound educational tool, encouraging readers to confront their own experiences of loss and embrace the complexities of the human condition. Overall, I would certainly recommend And She Was Never the Same Again as a well-penned work that challenges readers to reconsider their perceptions of grief and offers a path toward healing and growth.

Doreen Chombu

And She Was Never the Same Again by Natasha Pryde Trujillo, Ph.D. is a multigenerational memoir that delves into the author's personal experiences, family, and friends, exploring themes of loss, grief, trauma, and identity transitions across generations. The author talks about the different kinds of loss, her obsession with perfection and control, and key staples that influenced her character development. She covers the duality of personalities and behavior resulting from loss, explaining how individuals exhibit both positive and negative behaviors as a coping mechanism. Through an in-depth narrative, the author breaks down major turning points in her family's lives that affected their relationships and worldviews, offering a unique perspective on the human experience of suffering and encouraging readers to reflect on their own experiences and relationships with loss.

And She Was Never the Same Again is a thought-provoking book that will take you on a roller coaster of emotions. From the opening lines to the final chapter, everything is well thought out and captivating. I loved how the book is structured like a collection of interconnected tales but with one destination. Natasha Pryde Trujillo, Ph.D. dissects the meaning of loss and how it pertains to different situations, which gives an eye-opening insight that made me reflect on life’s twists and turns. Her writing is casual and easy to follow, helping readers understand her family's actions and not seeking to throw blame on anyone. She also invites readers to engage with her story through interactive questions, encouraging them to reflect on their own experiences with identity, trauma, and resilience. For anyone who enjoys reading psychologically engaging books about grief and family dynamics, this is a must-read. It covers a range of complex and emotional themes, including the effects of grief on family relationships, the loss of identity, how different genders mourn, and the struggles of forgiveness and healing.

Sefina Hawke

And She Was Never the Same Again (A Multigenerational Memoir) by Natasha Pryde Trujillo, Ph.D. is a non-fiction memoir that would appeal most to a diverse audience of adults and young adults who have been touched by loss in some manner. This book explores loss that affects people both in terms of death and non-death. The author covers the aspects of life and loss that people often avert their eyes from. Are you ready to follow the author’s journey through gain and loss while exploring the realities of how such aspects can impact your own life both directly and indirectly?

And She Was Never the Same Again by Natasha Pryde Trujillo, Ph.D. is a well-written book with an intriguing cover image that grabbed my interest as soon as I saw it. I liked the way that this was not just another self-help book; instead, it felt more like an exploration book. As a psychology graduate, I found it to be very interesting, especially the exploration of identity transitions, the manifestation of grief, and how grief was maintained. I liked the way the author focused on the idea that there is not one universal way to deal with grief and that people feel, learn, grow, and change from their experiences. As someone who has recently dealt with the loss of a grandparent, I found this book to be both comforting and helpful, especially in that it did not try to tell me that I should be grieving in a certain way. Overall, I found this to be a very informative and useful book that was helpful on a personal as well as a professional level.

Luwi Nyakansaila

Loss comes in many forms, from death and separation to life transitions and traumatic moments. Each has a way of stripping something from us and leaving us feeling changed. In And She Was Never the Same Again, Natasha Pryde Trujillo, Ph.D., talks about her family and the significant moments that transformed their lives and left them forever changed. She covers traumatic medical situations from her childhood, her uncle’s romantic life, her father’s character, and many more stories. She delves into her obsession with perfection and pushing herself, which stemmed from an unexpected childhood near-death experience and her need for control. The author explains the achievements and discipline she gained from this behavior, as well as the unfortunate escalation into self-harm and sabotage it also resulted in, showing the positive and negative outcomes of loss.

Natasha Pryde Trujillo has done a great job of compiling her family's experiences. Revisiting the past often brings happy and painful emotions in equal measure. From her grandmother's death, her family heritage, and her brother and her father’s relationship to processing grief, Trujillo discusses everything in detail, letting readers join her in her analysis of each moment and how it impacted each family member’s life and core being. And She Was Never the Same Again not only covers stories about her family, but also tackles social issues like the AIDS pandemic, depression, and family values. The consistent mantra at the end of every chapter that they were never the same again was a nice touch that fits perfectly with the title and created cohesion throughout the book, tying together the individual chapters and making them feel like part of a larger, cohesive narrative. This is a must-read for anyone who loves thought-provoking memoirs that tug at your heartstrings and make you reflect on the uncertainties of life.