Joyful Recollections of Trauma

HarperOne. May 2024. 256p. ISBN 9780063293717. $29.99. MEMOIR
Award-winning actor/comedian/podcaster Scheer’s charming, disarming, candid, and warm collection of essays will appeal to readers who like their humor best when it’s bittersweet. He aims to wear his former feelings of shame with pride, whether it’s describing abuse at the hands of his stepfather or listing cringeworthy celebrity encounters so embarrassing that he had to leave the scene. He acknowledges the times in his life that those who loved him most, including himself, failed him. Laying bare how traumatic events can become so routine they may not register as trauma, he conveys his humility and humanity with humor and authenticity. In the chapters “Ode to a Minivan” and “Scheer Humiliation,” readers see the silly side of him in his roles as an actor, a comedian, a husband, and a father. Readers will find the sincerest form of self-acceptance through hard lessons learned in the chapters “When I Grow Up” and “Becoming Dad.”
VERDICT Scheer’s memoir addresses somber truths of adolescence and abuse while never losing a sense of hope and humor along the way. Recommend this beautiful book to fans of Sam Neill, Casey Wilson, and Samantha Irby.
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