Jann Arden--bestselling author, recording artist and late-blooming TV star--is back with this funny, heartfelt and fierce memoir on becoming a woman of a certain age. The power, gravity and freedom she's found at fifty-seven are superpowers she believes all of us can unleash.
Digging deep into her strengths, her failures and her losses, Jann Arden brings us an inspiring account of how she has surprised herself, in her fifties, by at last becoming completely her own person. Like many women, it took Jann a long time to realize that trying to be pleasing and likeable and beautiful in the eyes of others was a loser's game. Letting it rip, and damning the consequences, is not only liberating, it's a hell of a lot of fun: "Being the age I am--that so many women are--is just the best time of my life."
Jann weaves her own story together with tales of her mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, and the father she came close to hating, to show her younger self--and all of us--that fear and avoidance is no way to live. "What I'm thinking about now aren't all the ways I can try to hang on to my youth or all the seconds ticking by in some kind of morbid countdown to death," she writes, "but rather how I keep becoming someone I always hoped I could be. If I'm lucky one day a very old face will look back at me from the mirror, a face I once shied away from. I will love that old woman ferociously, because she has finally figured out how to live a life of purpose--not in spite of but because of all her mistakes and failures."
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Get ready to love Jann Arden even more than you already do. While the acerbically witty “Insensitive” singer turned sitcom actress has always been unapologetic about her flaws, this memoir goes deep on her journey to accept and love herself—body, mind, and soul. Her book is filled with the inspiring stories of the amazing women who’ve shaped her…like her great-aunt Earn, who smoked, swore like a sailor, and raced around town in a sports car. Arden also talks openly about those who’ve let her down, including her alcoholic father, and writes with total honesty about her own drinking problem and her battles with anxiety and depression. It’s wonderfully freeing to hear Arden own up to all of her missteps and explain why they’ve ultimately helped make her a happier and healthier person. If I Knew Then is definitely a bit of a self-help guide. It’s near impossible not to come away from it inspired to love yourself and cherish each day on earth.