I wanted to read this book because I had very much anticipated reading another book (which I had on hold at my local library since it came out…I was 27th in line) called “How to Be a Woman” by a British humorist Caitlin Moran. I looked forward to reading the different takes on advising women on how to best live their lives.
Cynthia Occelli’s book begins with a warning that what follows would not appeal to all women. After struggling to get through this book, I determined in the end I was not her intended audience. She writes: “This book may not appeal to innately masculine women; it may even incense them.”
I don’t consider myself “innately masculine” but I’ve never been a girly-girl either. I am a big fan of women’s memoir writing and self-help books, so after reading her warning, I decided to keep on. I found her life story interesting but the way she wrote irked me as it was all in a heavy handed almost overly dramatic tone, devoid of any lightness that may help a reader like myself want to plough through to the next chapter.
(It didn’t help that my husband was reading “How to Be a Woman” in another room and constantly laughing out loud. Grrr).
Her point was made fairly early in the book that embracing the feminine can be empowering. I agree with that, but found her recurrent theme of “I made lots of mistakes but I’m enlightened now and this is how you should strive to live your life” got a little tiring. I guess I never found anything new in her book that I haven’t already read elsewhere…or lived in my own life (yes, I made sure the father of my child could support us while I stayed home. Excellent advice I originally got from my own mother who married a man who struggled to support us and his gambling habit).
Cynthia rose from being a high-school drop-out and teen mom to becoming a successful real estate broker and law student. She never details how she was able to get into law school from those humble beginnings, and I wish she gave more backstory there. That would’ve made a unique read! Instead of writing platitudes like “Do what you love,” and “Choose Peace,” I would have like to have seen in more detail and in down-to-earth language how she got where she is today. I’m glad Cynthia is “following the light” in her heart and this book is proof of that.
I plan on gifting my copy of "Resurrecting Venus" to a young, pregnant, single-mom I know who is apparently vastly more feminine than I am. I know this book will give her gobs of guidance and I look forward to cracking open “How to Be a Woman” and giggling over Brazilians with Ms. Moran.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.