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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Guest House: Stories Of A Nervous Mind is a work of non-fiction in the memoir, mental health, and social issues subgenres. The work is best suited to the mature reading audience owing to some explicit references to physical violence and substance abuse, as well as the use of explicit language throughout. Penned by Shannon Terrell, this is a highly emotive work that allows us an intimate view into some of the most difficult experiences of Terrell's life. A life spent living with generalized anxiety disorder and somatic symptom disorder is explored through a series of vignettes from specific experiences, trials, and triumphs throughout her life.
Shannon Terrell has crafted a work that is expressive and specific to personal experience but which also has that rare quality of opening up in such a relatable and helpful way for her reading audience. Each moment she chooses to explore is easily read within five or ten minutes, giving us the perfect opportunity to share a mindful moment, and giving us perspective on how others learn to cope with anxiety and the many stress-inducing experiences which life throws at us. I enjoyed the creative quality of the storytelling, which brings non-fiction to life in a more accessible fashion, taking us into atmospherically described situations with full dialogue and narrative quality. Stepping into the head of Terrell at different ages and life stages offers a unique and intimate insight that I’ve never seen before in stories of this kind. Overall, I would certainly recommend The Guest House: Stories Of A Nervous Mind for fans of creative non-fiction and mental health writing alike.