Who Is Wellness For? By Fariha Róisín
I’m not quite sure.
In a nutshell:
Author Róisín explores multiple ideas of wellness against the backdrop of Western cultural appropriation.
“How can we be individually well if we aren’t well collectively?”
Why I chose it:
The title intrigued me.
CN for the book: child sexual abuse, physical abuse of a child, emotional abuse, disordered eating.
I’ve not rated this book because I don’t feel comfortable doing so. It reminds me of a very important, very intelligent, very heartfelt independent film that just didn’t work for me. I don’t think I can rate it in a way that feels true to the author’s intention, nor true to how I felt about the book without those being in pretty stark opposition. On another type of book I’d probably rate it and move on, but this one is so personal and intimate that I think it requires an extra bit of care.
Róisín breaks the book into four sections: Mind, Body, Self-Care, and Justice. I did not finish the book as by the time I had gotten through Mind and Body, I knew that this book wasn’t for me. I don’t disagree or take issue with her statements; she’s clearly well-researched the topics she covers, and has a breadth of knowledge far beyond my own. But there was a point where reading this book became less of a challenge (a good thing!) and more of a chore (not such a good thing) for me. And I think part of that is because of the style of the book – it is much more … poetic? Than I was expecting. I’m not in a brain space for having to work that hard for a book.
And to some degree perhaps that’s a cop-out. Like giving up 3/4 of the way through training for a marathon. But also … training for a marathon is a choice? Reading is something I choose, and I love learning about things and places and people and ideas, but for me, this book wasn’t what I was necessarily expecting, nor did I find it making me think about the topic in unexpected ways. And that’s not me saying there wasn’t anything in there for me to learn, or that was new to me – there was LOADS – but it just didn’t work. For me.
That said, my goodness I can absolutely see this being a book that some people will absolutely love, read multiple times, dog-ear, write in, revisit. It has that feel, and I think that content. Just not for me. So I can’t recommend it, but also I can’t not recommend it.
Recommend to a Friend / Keep / Donate it / Toss it: