Saturday, July 4, 2015

Book Review: Everything You Ever Wanted by Jillian Lauren

Title: Everything You Ever Wanted: A Memoir
Author: Jillian Lauren
Enjoyment Rating: *****
Source: Digital Copy
Content Alert: Some swearing

When Jillian Lauren gets to the point in her life where she wants a child, she has lived a very full life-- she's been an actress, a member of a harem, a drug addict, a cosmetologist, a rock star's wife, and an MFA student, just to name a few things. One thing that it seems like she might never be is a mother, and after several years of infertility, she and her husband Scott Shriner (bassist for Weezer) adopt a son, Tariku, from Ethiopia. And then, they set out on the task of learning to become a family.

I can't tell you how many times Everything You Ever Wanted made me cry. I was crying even before Tariku entered the picture, just from the way Lauren was able to get her life back together (she talks about her best friend, who also struggled with addiction, throughout the memoir, and it provides a haunting counterpoint). I adore her for the honesty about which she talks about raising Tariku. Raising kids who know trauma and loss, who have been abandoned and neglected, is no small stuff. Many of us put smiles on our faces, but Lauren goes the places that so many of us feel-- sometimes at our wit's end, but loving these kids with a desperate ferocity. So thanks, Jillian Lauren, for this book. For your gift with words, and for making me feel not quite so alone. And for the beautiful way in which you're raising your son. It gives me hope.

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