LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSLLER • WINNER OF THE NAUTILUS BOOK AWARD • “In a world full of spiritual seekers, Megan Griswold is an undisputed all-star. What a delightful journey!”—Elizabeth Gilbert, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Magic and Eat, Pray, Love
The Book of Help traces one woman’s life-long quest for love, connection, and peace of mind. A heartbreakingly vulnerable and tragically funny memoir-in-remedies, Megan Griswold’s narrative spans four decades and six continents—from the glaciers of Patagonia and the psycho-tropics of Brazil, to academia, the Ivy League, and the study of Eastern medicine.
Megan was born into a family who enthusiastically embraced the offerings of New Age California culture—at seven she asked Santa for her first mantra and by twelve she was taking weekend workshops on personal growth. But later, when her newly-wedded husband calls in the middle of the night to say he’s landed in jail, Megan must accept that her many certificates, degrees and licenses had not been the finish line she’d once imagined them to be, but instead the preliminary training for what would prove to be the wildest, most growth-insisting journey of her life.
If there's a self-improvement tactic out there, chances are Griswold has tried it and in this humorous memoir, she lays bare how each has shaped her life. "At birth, my parents assigned me a Christian Science practitioner; by age seven I asked Santa for my first mantra," recounts Griswold, an acupuncturist and freelance writer. Griswold grew up in Southern California, and her New Age parents introduced her to transactional analysis and past-life readings at eight, and gave her a crash course in Our Bodies, Ourselves at 17. While on an International Wilderness Training Course in Chile at age 22, she met Tim, and shortly thereafter married him. After getting an MA in international relations at Yale, Griswold followed the holistic path she'd begun as a child: she graduated from acupuncture school, trained as a doula, then turned to couples counseling when her husband was arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer. Tarot cards only confirmed what Griswold already knew: her marriage was over. With self-deprecating humor, she tells of dating, postdivorce, a qigong practitioner named Laird, who suggested that she may be trying too hard while warming up ("This isn't CrossFit, you know"). Griswold's vulnerability and deeply honest writing will captivate and bolster readers in their own search for improvement.