Be-Longing

Be-Longing

Triumph in the Mirror

Non-Fiction - Memoir
276 Pages
Reviewed on 10/02/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Be-Longing: Triumph in the Mirror by Julius Dion Bailey is a powerful memoir that takes readers to places they have been. It is heartwarming and laced with messages of hope and inspiration, a story of a young boy’s quest for love and a sense of belonging. This is a memoir that explores the depths of a man’s vulnerability, his crippling fears, his demons, and his brokenness. Julius Bailey takes readers on a journey through the experiences that have left him broken, including rejection, failed relationships, and the fear of failure. Readers get to feel his pain, which will remind most of them of their own struggles to embrace who they are, but then things change for the protagonist when he finally gets to face himself. This is a story of hope and encouragement, a story that tells readers that they can find the path to themselves and embrace who they are.

I was hooked by Julius Dion Bailey’s writing from the very beginning and I loved the insightful and thought-provoking passages. In telling his story, the author helps the reader to see themselves and their fears even better. Just listen to the first lines of this compelling memoir and you’ll remember those moments of paralysis you might have had, unable to do anything because of fear: “I want to do it, but I am so afraid. I know how to do it, but fear won’t let me. And, when I feel the fear, I feel stupid, so, to avoid that, I just stop trying.” The writing is fluid and emotionally charged and readers will love to follow the psychological growth of the protagonist and his journey towards freedom. Be-Longing: Triumph in the Mirror provokes keen reflection in readers and shows them what it takes to find real inner freedom. It is gripping, masterfully written, and inspiring.

Gisela Dixon

Be-Longing: Triumph in the Mirror by Julius Dion Bailey is a great memoir by Julius on his own life journey, both personal and spiritual. Be-Longing is written in the first person in which Julius details his life as an African-American in America, starting from his birth up to the present moment. Having grown up in a single-parent family, Julius tells his mother’s story and how she became a teenage mom while his father gave up all responsibility. As a result, his grandfather became his only male role model while his mother made an independent life for herself while providing for her son. Julius also talks about his sexual abuse in his young years, his struggles with obesity, his young crushes as well as his early dating life and relationships, his marriage, counseling and therapy, and finally his own healing and perspective of what it means to be a black man in the US with all of its cultural biases and challenges.

I thought Be-Longing by Julius Dion Bailey was excellent and it kept me turning the pages right from the beginning. It is written in a very genuine and candid voice, and one can’t help but admire Julius’ courage as well as insight into his life journey. The book highlights in a very clear and compelling way the prejudice that blacks have always faced in the US and what we can do as a society, as a whole, to tackle this problem and root it out. I also found it inspiring how Julius came to terms with acceptance of himself, his self-image that had been hampered due to his weight, and his love and acceptance of himself in order to fully love someone else. This is a great autobiography that I would highly recommend.

Christian Sia

A purpose-driven memoir, Be-Longing: Triumph in the Mirror by Julius Dion Bailey is a story with manifold lessons on self-development, self-image, and self-awareness, a story of a man’s search for himself and meaning through his utter brokenness. I was hooked from the beginning by the strong narrative voice and, instantly, I heard myself in the protagonist.

Julius Dion Bailey takes readers on a painful journey through the darkness of his soul; a skeptical young man who suffers rejection, low self-esteem, and who grapples with the existential questions that young people at the crossroads of their lives have to answer. Readers follow him through failed relationships and depression to the point of illumination when he has to look at himself and, as if through a mirror, come to terms with reality. It’s the point of liberation, of freedom.

This is a book for someone looking for a story with characters that are real and authentic, a story they can resonate with. Julius Dion Bailey doesn’t disappoint and the reader is engaged from the first to the last page, thanks to the wonderful prose and the insightful writing which brilliantly captures what it feels like to be human. The author weaves psychological thoughts into the book in an intelligent way, compelling the reader to look at themselves, at their own darkness and vulnerability, and to accept the truth of who they are. Be-Longing: Triumph in the Mirror inspires, encourages, and communicates hope to readers who may be tired of life. It’s a rare gift of wisdom and entertainment.