Strong in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Redemption Through Wellness

Quentin Vennie, with Jon Sternfeld. Rodale, , $24.99 ISBN 978-1-62336-822-7

Vennie, a freelance writer and wellness speaker, writes of the ups and downs of inner city life in Baltimore in this potentially inspiring but ultimatelyuneven memoir. As a young child, he felt abandoned because of his father’s drug addiction and his mother’s struggle to provide a better life for him. The author witnessed violence in the neighborhood, and himself turned to petty crime, feeling unheard, angry, and lost. When he welcomed a child of his own into the world, Vennie tried to improve his life, but the child’s mother left and Vennie succumbed to a deep wave of the depression that he’d battled since the age of 14. As time passes, a new love enters his life and another child; things seem to be going well until he finds himself suddenly coping with debilitating anxiety. Pill abuse, addiction, and depression drive Vennie to deal with his past and finally move forward. He finds healing in juicing, yoga and meditation, though unfortunately, the latter two are discussed only briefly and and at the end of the book. He adequately describes his tenacity in dealing with his addiction and overcoming life’sobstacles but falls short in capturing his own path to wellness. (May)
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