Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chosen Forever: A Memoir, by Susan Richards (author), Lorna Raver (reader)


Blackstone Audio, ISBN 9781433243738, June 2008

Susan Richards rescued a horse named Lay Me Down, and changed her own life. Then, after Lay Me Down's death, she wrote a book about her, and did a book tour, and changed her life again. This is the story of that book tour, and if you think that's an  unpromising topic, you're in for a delightful surprise.

Caring for Lay Me Down helped Susan Richards take the first real steps towards recovery from her emotionally isolated childhood, abusive marriage, and severe anxiety disorder. Writing about the experience took her further on her recovery, acknowledging her anger and beginning to forgive both herself and others.

In making the book tour for Chosen By a Horse, Richards does two important things: She reconnects with long-estranged family and friends, and she begins to truly get the better of her anxiety disorder. A third thing, even more important, she begins to accept herself as a worthy writer and interesting person,

A fourth thing. She meets, or rather meets again, renowned photographer Dennis Stock. She bought her farm from him twenty-four years ago, and at the time, she thought him arrogant. She apparently made no impression on him at all. Meeting again at one of Susan's first readings, at an animal shelter, they have rather a different effect on each other, and slowly begin a relationship.

This book isn't about the events; it's about Susan Richards' emotional and personal growth, and her amazing courage in being able to write about her feelings, behavior, and growth in stunning clarity. It's a revealing and rewarding story.

Highly recommended.

I borrowed this book from a friend.