Sometimes the hardest thing you can do is take a chance on yourself

Wish You Were Here by Sheridan Jobbins
330 pages, Expected publication: August 29th 2017 by Hachette Australia

Your heart is broken, your marriage is in disarray, your life is in chaos and years of self-doubt come crashing down all at once, what do you do?
Well for Sheridan Jobbins in this slightly fictionalised memoir, her solution after a glorious scene of smashing the crockery is to go on a journey across the United States of America in a car called Betty. What is really nice is that you are invited as the backseat passenger as Jobbins looks for the reasons as how it all came to this point. Now there are many memoirs as to how men and women find their way of out a state of depression. For some they tell you about their descent into a world of drugs and alcohol and then crawling out the other side. This is not that kind of book and it is not ‘woe is me, look how much despair I am in and here is the magical cure’ kind of read. What we have is a really honest journey of the difficulty in moving forward and that there is no easy path, no magic words that will provide an easy answer when your life goes haywire.  
Jobbins has such a deft touch with her writing as she brings humour, sarcasm, insight and humility in a memoir that resonates with hope.  The writing is raw, truthful and as a writer Jobbins engages you in a conversation, making it easy to slip into the pages and lose yourself. Her descriptions really take you to the place ‘The day had turned white hot and airless. Even the trees were holding their breath.’ There are countless of other great moments beautifully captured.  
The people come into Jobbins travel really bring texture to the story from Mavis the well-heeled woman in her early hundreds, to be given a guided tour by the local police officer and a bunch of 9 year olds enamoured with Betty the Camaro over a Ferrari. 
I really loved was when Jobbins would describe how her and Scott would record the sounds of their journey. The Crockery Quilt, a patchwork of plates, cups and saucers that she collects that bring her back memories of place is a wonderful touch and in some ways reflects Jobbins experiences. 
There are moments when Jobbins shares her insights as tries to unravel all that had come before that ‘Maturity doesn’t mean setting yourself, or hardening the resolution of who you are. It can also be a wild abandonment of constraint, a surrender to change.’ 
I laughed, empathised, I could hear the sounds of the diners they stopped in, took in the grand sweeping vistas and camped out under the stars. This is a wonderful book, beautifully written and that takes you a journey of personal discovery. Reminding you that life is to be lived and the biggest risk you take is on living the life you want. 
Thanks to Hachette Australia and New Zealand for the read. 
For more on Sheridan Jobbins you can visit her website Scriptwhisperer.

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