Sometimes I find myself sunk deep in my habits when it comes to reading. I know what I like and I don’t often read outside my chosen genres. That’s one of the reasons I thought it would be a good idea to write reviews for Narrative Muse – an incentive to stick my toes outside of the comfortable lounge of urban fantasy and regency romances.
Every Lie I’ve Ever Told is one of these books outside my normal genre choice. It’s an autobiographical piece that I decided to try since Rosie Waterland has a reputation for being a comic genius. Let me tell you – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this foray into the world of true stories. It is just as funny, heartwarming and honest as you would expect from a book with this title.
For the uninitiated among you, this book follows Waterland’s bestseller The Anti Cool Girl, about how she survived a childhood of abuse and neglect. Every Lie I’ve Ever Told swoops in to pick up the story at her most recent breakdown. It talks about everything, but keeps coming back to one question: How do you make your day-to-day life and small decisions match up with your chosen identity as a strong, confident, empowered woman? More often than not, it explores this through the confession and mockery of failure.
I have a best friend. You might know her, actually – her name’s Alana. She’s another Muser. Every Lie I’ve Ever Told reminded me of sitting up late at night with Alana as we pour out our lives to each other. Some of our stories are raw, some are celebratory, many are commonplace, but listening to each one feels like home.
Not that each story matters so much on its own in light of this profound homecoming, but still, it’s worth mentioning: Waterland writes with a light, slightly satirical voice that makes even her most harrowing stories easy to swallow. I found myself able to relate to her despite the fact that our personalities and life experiences are very different. She’s the passionate, sarcastic survivor while I’m more of a teacher’s-pet. The emotions and motivations behind her actions are so universal that I could picture myself, in another life, being just like her.
Reading Every Lie I’ve Ever Told left me feeling that I could become the woman I want to be despite the many times I haven’t lived up to my own expectations. Pick yourself up, it seems to say. You can do this.