Emily Maguire - Start Over Again - Book Review
Check out the book "Start Over Again," by singer songwriter, Emily Maquire:
Singer songwriter Emily Maguire’s musical journey, from the UK to Australia and back again, has always felt a little like it could be a book, to me. Recently she launched a book, but it isn’t the story I always imagined. On World Mental Health Day, Emily admitted to Radio 2 listeners that for years she has lived with Bi-Polar disorder and finally wanted to lift the lid on her story, and, in the process, on the stigma of mental illness.
Named after one of her most poignant songs, which she has always described as her ‘life story in three and a half minutes,’ Start Over Again contains diary entries, pieces of writing and song lyrics accumulated from her teens to the present, all providing us with a unique inside into her mind in all its forms. It came about at the suggestion of her partner in music and life, Christian Dunham, to put together some of her diary entries and such and with his encouragement, it eventually took the form of a book.
If it sounds like heavy reading, it isn’t. Admittedly it took me a little while to read, more because it felt like that kind of book that had to be read over a period of time, in order for the words and story to truly resonate and tell their story – Emily’s story – and a very powerful one at that. Emily begins the book with a summary of her story, thus setting the scene for and giving context to the entries which follow, written in good times and bad, in and out of manic episodes. Whether you have experienced mental health issues yourself, know someone who has, or have no experience whatsoever, you cannot help but be both moved and educated by Emily’s story.
What cannot help but strike you is the incredible honesty with which Emily bares her soul – it is like hearing a friend share their story over coffee. In the process she gives added meaning to so many of her songs, once the listener understands the place from which they were written, something Emily admits she would not do if she did not have Bi-Polar; she considers this her silver lining and has reached the place where she would rather live with it than without it. However, that place is something for Emily to tell you about, not me, so I recommend you all find a copy of Start Over Again. While you’re at it, if you don’t already have it, pick up Believer, the CD with the song which inspired the book and find out who Emily Maguire truly is for yourselves.
NB: Start Over Again is self published and is available from www.emilymaguire.com, and all good bookstores as well as for Kindle.