The Book of Help traces one woman’s life-long quest for love, connection, and peace of mind. A heartbreakingly vulnerable and tragically funny memoir-in-remedies, Megan Griswold’s narrative spans four decades and six continents –– from the glaciers of Patagonia and the psycho-tropics of Brazil, to academia, the Ivy League, and the study of Eastern medicine.
Megan was born into a family who enthusiastically embraced the offerings of New Age California culture –– at seven she asked Santa for her first mantra and by twelve she was taking weekend workshops on personal growth. But later, when her newly-wedded husband calls in the middle of the night to say he’s landed in jail, Megan must accept that her many certificates, degrees and licenses had not been the finish line she’d once imagined them to be, but instead the preliminary training for what would prove to be the wildest, most growth-insisting journey of her life.
About the Author
Megan Griswold went to Barnard College, received an MA from Yale, and went on to earn a licentiate degree from the Institute of Taoist Education and Acupuncture. She has trained and received certifications as a doula, shiatsu practitioner, yoga instructor, personal trainer, and in wilderness medicine, among others. She has worked as a mountain instructor, a Classical Five Element acupuncturist, a freelance reporter, an NPR All Things Considered commentator and an off-the grid interior designer. She resides (mostly) in a yurt in Kelly, Wyoming.
Griswold’s debut...provides an exhaustive look at alternative treatments, but wrapped up in that narrative is a personal tale about her own quest to find comfort and healing from the scars of her youth and the tragedy of her divorce....As remedies, the results were decidedly mixed, but vicariously living them through her telling makes for a fascinating book. Soul-searching has never been more comprehensive. --Kirkus
When Griswold discovers that her husband has an addiction to phone sex and prostitutes, her mother tells her this is all good material. Given this, readers won’t likely blame the author for seeking her own answers....This [book] will appeal to like-minded seekers. --Booklist
Griswold’s vulnerability and deeply honest writing will captivate and bolster readers in their own search for improvement. --Publishers Weekly
“In a world full of spiritual seekers, Megan Griswold is an undisputed All-Star. She has spent her life examining her existence in patient, courageous, and microscopic detail, and now she has written about her search with tender and comic honesty. What a delightful journey!” --Elizabeth Gilbert, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Magic and Eat, Pray, Love
“Megan Griswold’s fantastic memoir is part-medicine for our time, part-balm for our collective wounds, part-instruction manual. Unexpectedly hilarious, self-deprecating, moving, and a story for all women in this time, I couldn’t put it down. I read it aloud to my fiancé, to our daughter, to my friends. It’s the book that makes you jog the elbow of the person sitting next to you and say, ‘You’ve GOT to read this.’ You’ve got to read this. Megan is in touch with where the rest of us may have limped off course.” --Alexandra Fuller, New York Times bestselling author of Leaving Before the Rains Come
"The Book of Help is a homecoming of healing. If you think you know what a memoir is, this book subverts everything you know. In her honest, openhearted prose, Griswold examines her life through remedies, from the simple to the wild. This book is a tender, and at times, a heartbreaking account of what it means to have relationships, from your parents to your spouse. The Book of Helpwill split you open, wrench your heart, and offer a kind of redemption. Griswold’s compassion and humor is on every page, as she logs her various endeavors to be a loving human in the world. This book is not about being lost and found, it’s about the voyage our lives take. You are her fellow pilgrim on her journey of grace. A brave and insightful debut." --Nina McConigley, author of Cowboys and East Indians, winner of the PEN Open Book Award
“An inventive, deeply original plummet into self-exploration that is part emotional repair manual, part memoir and entirely wonderful. You’ll be wiser for having read it, feel less alone in the world when you’re done, and endlessly grateful to Megan Griswold for creating her one-of-a-kind life that lead to this one-of-a-kind book.” --Amanda Stern, author of Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life.
"The Book of Help is a bright, self-effacing, celebratory, gut-wrenching and hilarious chronicle of one woman's attempt to heal both herself and the parts of the world she intersects. It reminds us, in these dizzyingly corrupted times, of the redemption to be found in good friends, good dogs, and good therapy, and urges us to make the world we want to live in. This book is an all-night sleepover ouija board/tarot card/magic eight ball session of delight. --Pam Houston, author of Deep Creek
"By turns funny and aching, The Book of Help is Eat, Pray, Love on speed. Not even the Buddha was as determined as Griswold to find inner peace." --Patricia Marx, author of Let's Be Less Stupid
“Megan Griswold’s intimate, chatty, marvelous voice scooped me up on the first page of The Book Of Help and she never left my side until the last. This open hearted, soul searching, intensely readable memoir reminds us that we are far from alone on our journey and how ever much we might want them - there are no finish lines, just resting stops where we can heal, learn, gather strength and, most importantly, keep going.” --Isabel Gillies, New York Times bestselling author of Happens Every Day