The Full Catastrophe

A Memoir

Non-Fiction - Relationships
257 Pages
Reviewed on 06/28/2017
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Author Biography

Karen Elizabeth Lee M.A.
Karen is an experienced group facilitator, public speaker, instructor, management consultant, writer/author and retired clinical psychologist.
She has authored two books, Consulting into the Future, Hodder & Stoughton UK 2002, and The Full Catastrophe, She Writes Press, Berkeley, CA 2016, a memoir of her two marriages, widowhood, and healing after trauma. She has also published articles ranging from management consulting to dealing with abuse.
She teaches the course, “Writing Memoir When Your Story is Difficult,” at the Alexandra Writers Centre in Calgary.
In August, 2017, she spoke on memoir at the conference “When Words Collide” in Calgary as well as participated on two writing panels.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

The Full Catastrophe: A Memoir by Karen Elizabeth Lee is an engaging memoir about a professional woman who finally gets her life back on track after going through an abusive marriage. The author begins her story with the funeral of Duncan, to whom she was married for fourteen years. He was a controlling bully, diagnosed with cancer ten months after she asked for a divorce. After he dies, Karen realizes that she has other issues in her life to face and handle. The memoir chronicles her emotional and mental journey, her life, and how she manages to stay sane and happy during that roller-coaster phase of her life. It is a story of healing, resurrection, and self-discovery, and how the author uses Jungian analysis to resurrect her life.

The memoir is direct and honest, and it captures the emotional angst of a woman who had undergone domestic and emotional abuse. Her healing phase tells us how the pain and trauma of emotional abuse lingered on, even after Duncan’s death, and how her will to not give up gave her the courage to make positive changes in her life. The author opens her heart and soul to readers, which is not always an easy thing to do, especially when it comes to one’s personal life. It is not always easy to rise above struggles and difficulties in life and emerge a stronger person. Karen Elizabeth Lee’s journey is relatable and palpable to many readers, and her courage in making a noticeable change in her life is commendable.