My Impossible Life by Charlene Jones

Charlene Diane Jones
Heartongue Press (2019)
ISBN 9781987813326
Reviewed by Jan Freeman for Reader Views (2/2020)

“My Impossible Life” is a compelling account of Charlene Jones’s survival and ongoing restoration after suffering abuse and rejection during all of her young life. It is a compilation of stories of the mistreatment she received and the harm it caused to her, as well as her journeys to various places in order to find peace through the study and practice of meditation.

The book is well-paced, will keep the reader’s attention, and will induce emotions, both positive and negative. It is hard to imagine how such a young person could cope with so many problems without withdrawing from human contact altogether. The people in the stories are family, friends, teachers and occasionally strangers who touched Ms. Jones’s life, some of whom mistreated her and others who influenced her journey toward stability, as well as physical, mental and spiritual wellness.

While I found “My Impossible Life” difficult to read at times because of the heartrending circumstances in the recounting of her life, I believe Ms. Jones’s writing is honest and told without malice toward any other person. It appears to be a history of events which includes details as remembered by the author.

The descriptions of other parts of the world where Ms. Jones traveled and the meditation classes she attended were interesting and colorful. They also gave indications of how desperate her desire was to find peace of mind and healing.

In Last Words at the end of the book, there was something that I found thoughtful:

“The stories we each have of our individual lives matter now more than ever. As we see cultural institutions, churches, temples, mosques, synagogues, universities, political office tumble through immoral and indecent behavior we need more than ever to learn the heroic stories of how each of us has coped with, come to terms with and healed from the struggles of our lives.”

Perhaps reading about these trials by fire that other people go through will open our hearts and minds to the struggles of others around us and make us better for it.

If you like books about people who have survived real trauma and have defeated the resulting demons within, you will enjoy “My Impossible Life” by Charlene Jones.

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