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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Stepping Stones: A Memoir of Addiction, Loss, and Transformation by Marilea C. Rabasa is a compelling memoir with themes that are captured in the title. Meet Marilea, a woman born to a life of ease, growing up in a family that has a long history of addiction. When her mom dies, Marilea experiences her first loss, and the dysfunctional nature of her family doesn’t help much, so soon, she finds herself embracing the family secret legacy: addiction. From an unhappy childhood through her travels and diplomatic service, readers witness a broken woman, held captive by her addiction. It is a story of pain and loss. But it is also one of redemption and healing, and the part that will touch everyone who picks up this book is her determination and her choice to take control of her life and destiny.
The memoir is written in beautiful prose with insightful passages on life, suffering, inner freedom, and personal transformation. The author writes beautifully about family, motherhood, and work, filling the pages with vivid imagery from her life. I particularly enjoyed the honesty with which Marilea shares her story, pulling readers in with her strong, unwavering voice and exploring human nature and relationships with skill and mastery. The story is powerful in that it offers insights and lessons that readers can use in other areas of life. This is a recovery story that inspires readers and communicates the hope that they too can triumph over what pulls them down. Stepping Stones: A Memoir of Addiction, Loss, and Transformation may tell a story that many readers are familiar with, but its message is unique and moving.