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Peace From Broken Pieces is part biography/ part self-help book, and is very much like putting a puzzle together. You have to be in a certain mind frame to really focus on it, and the process can be both frustrating and therapeutic, yet satisfying once it is all over and things become clear.
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Characters & Story
Iyanla Vanzant, famous modernly for her Fix My Life series, straight up tells you she is in no way perfect. She has been a victim, played the victim, neglected her children to keep a man, and has let herself be tricked, used, and had miscalculated her movements in order to try to see which way was forward. But throughout the book, she reveals more than most certainly would in an effort for you to not get inside dirt or highlights about her life, but to present to you a person. One which is flawed but learning, and hoping that through some of her trauma, triumphs, and defeats, maybe you can learn something.
I read this book years ago and it was my first and last, self-help styled book I have read. The reason being, it has the potential to hit you to the point of understanding, more than you do when you begin reading, where you are in life. For everyone has gone through something. Whether it is perhaps not having the type of parents you feel you deserved or the kind you think would have been best for your development, to having people who have raped, abused, and belittled you to the point of tears and numbness. This book touches on the, as Vanzant calls it, Dis-ease which perhaps is keeping you from either experiencing joy or at the very least peace.
And when I read this while, in my late teens, I have to admit just the ideas presented about spirituality, and pathologies hit me in such a way that I had to really reflect. For there are things mentioned about cycles in families, especially of the Black community, repeating that I had to think about; there was mention of a soul’s mission, and things of that nature, that lead me to rereading it years after I finished the book; and ultimately, what I feel left with from rereading this is a reminder that in some way we all have a purpose, and half of the job and finding what that purpose is.
Really, the only negative thing I could say about the book is that it will lead you to think that perhaps you should read her other books. That is something I can’t recommend. For whether it is because the biographical part of it helped make the book less preachy, or because I’m just not into the self-help genre, I found that pretty much the major lessons you could learn from her are all in this book. Everything else may focus on one subject matter or another, but unless you are deeply into what Ms. Vanzant is selling or preaching, you may get through a few pages, but after that, it is going to require more effort than it should to finish.
Honestly, this is likely the first and last book of Vanzant’s I will every read from beginning to end, and after watching her programs and specials, it maybe the only media she has put out there which I may recommend to others. For, as a whole, there is something very humble and non-judgmental about this book. She seemingly comes from a place where she might be wounded, and perhaps a little hurt, but she isn’t letting her pride, nor ego, stand in the way of sharing information which could help you. Leading to perhaps why the extended title: “How to Get Through What You’re Going Through” makes so much sense. If only because the book very much is like your mother’s or father’s friend speaking to you, trying to help you, but speaking as if they have lived, but they don’t wish to speak to you as if you haven’t. Thus, ultimately, making for an experience in which you feel like as she talks, and you read, you aren’t just going through her journey, but piecing together yours and trying to understand how, and why, you have the possible dysfunction in your life that you do.