[Book review] “The Upbringing that Encircles Me: A memoir”

“The Upbringing that Encircles Me: A memoir”, a book categorized as non-fiction, written by Victoria Brewster (a former violin orchestra player), is a piece of writing which clearly breaks any boundaries of the conventional.

The first 2 paragraphs of the book will represent the delight of old-fashioned critics, as they will find plenty of reasons to misinterpret the actual message within this book. The author uses several terms that “should not be debated”, according to certain cultures and beliefs.

Nevertheless, the original, unconventional style of writing, in a raw and very open manner, is exactly why one should purchase this book. The writer takes the reader from some very dear memories of teenage years to the hardships life has thrown at her. She clearly voices her mind about standing against discrimination, as well as about her marital challenges and the struggles of raising her children by herself. From car accidents she survived without a scratch, to moving out several times, to attempting a “direction shift” to witnessing many (various) cases of death.

Her life experiences, both on personal and professional levels (she works mostly with elders over the age of 65), have taught her not to fear death or to avoid talking about it. In fact, nowadays, Victoria Brewster envisions bringing together groups of people who can openly talk about this topic, share their fears and learn how to overcome the inherited ideas that death is a taboo subject.

Additionally, Victoria is a member of the Service Professionals Network (SPN) Group on LinkedIn and Facebook social networks, has an End of Life Specialist Certification from Doing Death Differently and she is part of the End of Life Doula Network.

“The Upbringing that Encircles Me” is the second book Victoria has written, the first one being co-authored with Julie Saeger Nierenberg and entitled Journey’s End: Death, Dying and the End of Life (released in July 2017). The two ladies are planning a continuation of their collaboration and they are currently working on a second book on the same topic, that will be called Journey’s End: Cultural, Ethnic, and Religious Perspectives on Death and Dying.

The present memoir of the author covers a plethora of subjects many of us witness, on a daily basis, yet few of us find a voice to speak about, due to the stigma society places on our shoulders. Main subjects: converting from a religion to another, creating inter-cultural families, co-parenting with an ex-spouse, miscarriages and many more.

By the end of the book, the reader will also find a series of happenings that changed the author’s life for good, as well as her plans for the near future.

As a plus to the above mentioned reasons, this book should be purchased due to its pretty good degree of uplifting content, a readability score of 5 (on a scale from 1 to 5 – not too lengthy, but concise, with easy to understand terms and a clear structure).

Victoria Brewster

The author is also available for providing trainings and/ or consultations and attending speaking events. She can be reached, by email, at mswwrites.vbrewster@gmail.com or contacted via her LinkedIn profile page. Her blog posts, writing activity and details about current and future projects can be viewed by visiting mswwrites.com

*****

Article originally posted on LinkedIn on November 8, 2018.

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