At a time when people are on constant quests for self-improvement, The Book of Help—A Memoir in Remedies by Megan Griswold seems rather relevant at first blush. The Kelly, Wyoming, author recounts the many ways, since childhood, that she has attempted to better herself. That spans four decades and several continents. Books, courses, certifications, degrees and world travels are just some of the ways in which she has sought improvement and enlightenment.
But as the reader digs deeper into the book, she finds that Griswold’s journey holds much deeper relevance. Hers is a tale of love, loss and resilience. Meanwhile, Griswold’s sharp wit and unique voice create a fast, immersive rhythm. Griswold achieves all of this through vignettes, short tales that comprise a larger narrative.
“When I decided to write this story about my relationship, I also didn’t want it to end up sounding like a Lifetime movie of the week story because it is quite dramatic,” Griswold said. “The thing that came part and parcel with that experience was deciding to jump into more therapies to help the problem.”
And because of Griswold’s “odd upbringing,” what beckoned to her as potential antidotes were alternative therapies.
So the book presented a way to narrate a heart-wrenching relationship, a way to “safely and interestingly talk about the challenge in my marriage, while also commentating in some way about the way we digest alternative healing.”
In the process of writing the book, Griswold learned about her own identity. It’s a message that translates onto the page for readers. “What I come to realize and write about is the way I stop defining myself around my romantic relationships and just as a woman in the world.”
Listen above for our interview with Griswold.