Books / Book Reviews

Review: Becoming – Laura Jane Williams


BecomingOn the whole, I tend to avoid buying books online. As a champion of independent bookshops, it doesn’t really sit right with me. Alas, living, as I currently do in Australia, means that on occasion, I have no other choice, and such was the case with Becoming, by Laura Jane Williams.

I first came across Laura when I heard Fiona Barrows interview her on her podcast, There Are Other Ways, and in the weeks that have since passed, I’ve become a big fan of her open and honest story-telling, on both her blog and her Instagram, and so waited with anticipation after ordering her book from the UK. It took a little over ten days to arrive, and so despite having just started a new book, as soon as Becoming landed on my doorstep yesterday afternoon, I put my to-do list on hold to start it. And even for me – an avid and ardent reader by any account – receiving, reading in its entirety and reviewing a book in less that eighteen hours is something of a record.

A memoir about the breakdown of a relationship with a man Laura thought she’d be with forever; a man who then went on to marry her former best-friend, Laura navigates the post-break-up years in a haze of sadness, self-loathing, booze and men, before embarking on a year of celibacy and adventure that would culminate with living in an Italian monastery where she slowly starts to piece herself back together.

As well as a journey that sees Laura living everywhere from Detroit to Derby to Rome, it too is one in which Laura learns to love herself after despite previous perceived mistakes. A book that will resonate with many of its readers for years to come, while predominantly a memoir, Becoming is also a guide to letting go of the past, living in the present, and looking forward to the future – whatever it may hold.

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Having moved to Australia almost three years ago – and having living in both LA and Bali last year – I loved reading about Laura’s adventures abroad, about the highs and the lows; the humiliation and heartache that comes part and parcel of taking risks, and the resilience she built as a result. I too, identified with her waiting for a happy every after and her limitless passion for writing, something that reading Becoming has re-awoken in me. I loved her frank and candid conversational writing style, and I loved the fact that finishing her memoir has made me realise that none of us have it all figured out, despite how it may seem on the surface.

A coming of age tale about self-discovery, self-love and self-worth, Becoming is an uplifting and inspiring tale that will encourage readers to see the beauty in the every day and to live life on purpose – which is, perhaps, the biggest gift of all.

About Becoming

After being dumped by the man she thought she was going to marry, Laura, hurt and bewildered, turned to excess in an effort to heal; misplacing her anger for one man with all men and using sex as a weapon. After one final encounter Laura declared a vow of celibacy and moved to an Italian convent. Set in Paris, Rome, Detroit and Derby this is the story of her life before and her life after, the beginning and the end. Eat, Pray, Love meets Wild, BECOMING is a memoir that shows how one year can change everything, even when it seems like you’d never know yourself again.

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About Laura Jane Williams

Laura Jane Williams is an author, journalist, scriptwriter, public speaker – and Insta-stories addict. She’s RED Magazine’s ‘Talking Point’ columnist and cult blogger of Superlatively Rude.

Laura is the author of Amazon bestseller Becoming and self-help guide Ice Cream for Breakfast, both published by Hodder & Stoughton. Laura also writes about cultivating self-love in Stylist’s book Life Lessons From Remarkable Women (Penguin, ’18). She is currently working on her next book.

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