Book Review: What My Bones Know
What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma by Stephanie Foo.
Disclosure: There may be links on this page that will provide me with a commission (at no cost to you) if you decide to purchase a product. All reviews are honest and there is no sponsored content on this page.
Trauma is a widely researched topic and people spend a lot of time trying to find books that help them understand the topic. As a counsellor, and an avid reader, I'll give you an honest review so you can decide if this book might be right for you.
If you would like a summary of the book (I do not provide one), you can find that HERE.
What I Liked About the Book
If you've read any of the most purchased trauma books, you'll know that many of them read like textbooks. This book is nothing like that because it's a memoir. A raw and vulnerable first-person account of childhood trauma and the resulting impact on her life. It makes a difficult topic relatable and easier to understand. I think many people could see themselves either in the story or her journey to find healing.
This book is not a fluffy airy-fairy peice. Stephanie Foo is a journalist so there is research and interviews to provide context and depth to her work. Added to that is her excellent writing skills.
Stephanie Foo is transparent about her experience finding a good fit in therapy which normalizes the struggle so many people face. She gives voice to topics we don't openly discuss which is refreshing.
The author is a person of colour (this was a big selling feature because most authors on the subject are white males) and this added a rich discussion on culture. In addition, Stephanie Foo weaves in themes of family, work, and love that intertwin with the abuses she endured.
The audio version plays real snippets of her therapy sessions and I found that fascinating. I wonder if others would experience it as impactful as I did, if they were not a therapist?
What I Didn't Like About the Book
The first third of the book is a recounting of the author's childhood and provides a detailed description of child abuse in many forms. Stephanie Foo is clear in the beginning about this as a content warning. With that being said, I could see how some readers would find this triggering and heavy. That does not take away from the quality of the book but is worth mentioning.
However, it came to mind that readers might compare their upbringing and/or life to that of the authors. I wish there was a part of the book where she was clear that Complex PTSD can result from trauma different than shared in the book. C-PTSD can occur following events with differing levels of severity and I wasn't left with that impression after reading the book.
Would I Recommend It?
Yes, I would. In fact, I have but with a clear trigger warning and a reminder that comparison is not helpful.
How Many Stars Did I Rate It?
5 Stars! The book was well written and engaging. I've thought about the book many times since finishing it and plan to get the physical copy to annotate it.
Get your copy HERE.