Messages from My Ancestors, a memoir with reflection and writing prompts

Non-Fiction - Memoir
176 Pages
Reviewed on 04/14/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

In her memoir Hummingbird: Messages from My Ancestors, Diana Raab opens up on her life experiences, from childhood solitude to her battles with cancer, and the role of writing as a tool for healing. She shares her family dynamics, particularly the influence of her maternal grandmother's suicide, and ancestral connections. Raab discusses her coping mechanisms, including journaling passed down through generations, and speaks on the importance of understanding and processing trauma. Raab also covers themes of intuition and the impact of childhood neglect on adult relationships, the healing power of storytelling, and the importance of passing down ancestral wisdom. Raab passionately advocates for introspection, consciousness, and living with purpose, integrating ancillary sources like Tony Nader's book on consciousness. Through prompts, Raab encourages readers to look at their own family histories and aspirations, offering a hopeful outlook on life and the enduring legacy of shared stories and wisdom.

Hummingbird by Diana Raab beautifully illustrates the interconnectedness between generations, and how the past influences the present and shapes individual identity. Through reading her grandmother's journal, Raab shares these moments. The standout to me is the descriptions of Raab's grandmother during the cholera pandemic and the heartbreaking moments she experiences while searching for someone she loves. This resilience is passed down generationally through familial bonds and is one of many ways in which Raab proves this. Another component that I really liked is Raab showing us what the integration of holistic health practices alongside conventional medical treatment looks like. In response to cancer, she adopts a vegan diet and complementary therapies like curcumin supplementation, all inspired by medical literature and personal and professional recommendations. The writing is exceptional and I loved the thoughtful prompts, which are perfect for journaling. Overall, this is a well-written and accessible self-help memoir that allows for comfortable implementation into everyday life, and I think others who are looking for something that feels more like a conversation than a directive will agree. Very highly recommended.