The Beauty of Living Twice

Knopf. Mar. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9780525656760. $27.95. MEMOIR
In this sincere memoir, Stone begins by recounting the emotional and physical toll of a medical experience two decades ago, when she had a stroke that continues to impact her daily life. Her candid writing brings readers into her life before and after her stroke. In the aftermath, she tries to become familiar with her body’s new limitations, and is grateful for the support of close family and friends. She relates stories of personal hardship, particularly regarding friendship and failure, balanced with lighthearted and humorous anecdotes of starting over. Her writing is conversational and engaging, especially as she tells the powerful stories that demonstrate resilience and grit in many facets of her life, from her childhood to her acting career and beyond. She warmly embraces and explains the aspects of her spirituality—especially her path toward Buddhism—that have guided her through life and provided comfort when she needed it the most. At times, the narrative seems to meander, but Stone never loses sight of the things that keep her centered—faith and support from loved ones.
VERDICT A welcome memoir of finding your way when life doesn’t go according to plan. Stone’s vulnerability and rediscovery will resonate with many readers.
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