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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Does This Make Sense? A Jump Start on Your Self-Help Journey by Erin Battle is a non-fiction book in which the author shares her own stories so that we might be able to explore our own, and find a bit of footing on unstable personal ground. Battle begins with an introduction and uses experiences she's had and the lessons learned from them as the foundation of each of the seven chapters. These range from childhood abuse by a neighbor in chapter two's Big T, to a jaw-dropping turn in her motherhood journey in chapter four's Oh Baby!, and on to the fulfillment found in living a life wrapped in principle in chapter six's Purpose. Each chapter ends with a reflective prompt and lined pages for jotting down what tumbles out along the way.
The profound honesty of Erin Battle and the history that brought her to the point of writing Does This Make Sense? is enough to make a reader pause. There are a lot of backstories to unpack in the introduction and chapter one, and I had a fleeting concern that this was yet another memoir wrapped up in self-help book packaging. Hang in there. The connection comes with a swift blow in a revelation Battle places on the table with the courage of a legit warrior. There is an intense O-M-G moment balanced by the comfortable, conversational narrator who has just told you a secret over a cup of herbal tea. This carries through the rest of the book and underscores all of the other obstacles thrown in the path, whether they've been placed there by someone else or we've chucked them in the lane ourselves. Sometimes it is our fault, and sometimes it is not. In either instance, Battle leverages her social work and life experience with specific, structured, and actionable advice to pull ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and keep moving. It's well written and thoughtful, and will no doubt have a meaningful place in the journey of its readers.