“Essence” by Charles C. McCormack

Essence

Charles C. McCormack
Independently Published (2021)
ASIN: B09K1XCTDT
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views (12/2021)

“Essence” is the coming-of-age memoir of Charles McCormack; readers follow him from his beginnings in survival mode to his achievement of self-reflection – something many people never master. Growing up, McCormack had the “traditional” home, a working father, a stay-at-home mother, and two siblings. To the outsider, nothing seems wrong, but when you learn of the inner workings of the family, you would be afraid.

McCormack’s life was anything but stable – his father was in the military, moving the family around numerous times while hiding an abusive and vindictive side that showed through every day toward his wife and kids. His mother had a side to her, too. You can’t help the urge to root for the author yet wonder how he could turn out into anything other than a product of his upbringing.

McCormack outlines memorable moments in five parts, consisting of thirty-three short chapters that each include a life lesson learned by the author; these lessons would not be realized if not for self-evaluation. The transformation observed from childhood to after retirement will amaze the reader and give hope for others living as McCormack did in his former life.

“Essence” brings about all the feelings; it’s crazy how this can happen daily for most everyone. McCormack grants the reader an inside scoop into his past and the inner workings of his mind. “Essence” is a story that is appropriate for nearly everyone, even if you haven’t experienced the same situations as the author; life lessons come from any life situation.

The author was vulnerable to share the things he did, but I believe he had the strength because he took things seriously and didn’t give up. He spoke a bit in one of the last parts of psychotherapy and its advantages – he did well incorporating and explaining this topic to a potential group of uneducated readers. Everything he spoke about in the book is understandable and relevant to today’s society.

“Essence” applies to nearly everyone and covers topics of developing self-love, self-discovery, and not giving up in the face of adversity. The story is empowering and focuses on an individual’s ability to change their life. From the first page to the last, it is remarkable to read of the complete turnaround a person can achieve – don’t give up; there is always hope at some point in your life!


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