*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
I will begin my review with giving kudos to Ms. Karu for sharing with her own personal "gremlins" It definitely makes the reader see that they aren't the only one who suffers with them, and lets them see that perhaps theirs aren't as bad as they'd initially thought.
I am a memoir lover to begin with, I particularly liked Stepping Into More because not only was it a memoir about someone who has attributes similiar to my own, but because this person also learned how to deal with it and has opened herself to help the many that suffer from the same.
I was almost shocked to read how similar our childhoods were. Though the biggest difference was Ms. Karu's constant moving. I smiled a bit when she became a "punker" since it reminded my of my own life back at that age.
The summaries at the end of each are vital to the reader and should not be overlooked as mere summaries of the chapter. While they are summaries of the chapter, I feel Ms. Karu placed there as sort of study guides. A way for the reader to see how to deal with certain situations and when to let that perfectionist come out and when to hold it at bay. Using herself as the example in each "lesson" was an ingenious tool. It alleviates the lecture sense most texts on how to improve yourself impose, therefore lightening the mood on the reader so they can still enjoy the memoir without feeling the pressures of the semi hidden lessons.
The questions at the end of each chapter re amazing! They really make the reader sit down and really think to answer them. I think I'm still trying to figure out the answers to these questions myself. I DO think the questions are very important since they make the reader really sit down and evaluate their own experiences. I, myself never thought of myself as suffering from Perfectionism. That assumption has been painfully reversed as with each chapter I read, I saw more and more of myself as the one telling the story.
At one point I was almost sure Ms. Karu had somehow figured out my own experiences in life and somehow even tapped into the very core of my being. I'm sure many others who read this book feel the same way. And really, that's what makes this book an excellent learning tool. The author has written this with her whole heart. I'm quite sure as she remembered missing one grandfather's funeral and nearly missing the other one that those desperate. anxious tears fell again just they had at the times of the events.
As I've read I've walked through Ms. Karu's life, laughed at her points, shed tears at her most painful points. These are the marks of a good writer. Someone who can make you see and feel everything their main character does, especially when that main character is them self. After all a memoir is written to gain closure and understanding and I assure you upon the understanding part, Ms. Karu hit the mark. As to the closure? She alone knows if this have helped her.