Inconvenient PostingLynne Harkes reviews Laura J Stephens’ An Inconvenient Posting

An Inconvenient Posting is Laura J Stephens’ beautifully written tale of her relocation to Houston and her honest account of the personal struggles she encountered along the way. Stephens keeps daily records of her thoughts and feelings in a journal. By looking back over this she has been able to write with a particular eloquence and striking attention to detail as events unfold and the family finally move to Houston from the UK. She brings her husband and two daughters very much to life in her book and we are taken along with the family on her journey.

Stephens painfully describes her descent into a spiraling and gripping depression on her arrival in her new country and whilst the reader was given hints along the way of a disquiet within that was brewing, the depths of her low come as something of a shock.  Being reunited with the family’s personal effects, after a lengthy two month separation, does nothing to soften the low Stephens was immersed in nor does it boost flagging energy levels.

Consumed by this lethargy, I was disappointed things did not improve now we had our house to live in and our own things around us. Instead, I somehow slid from being restlessly unhappy to feeling quite desolate.”

Stephens bravely begins her journey of self-discovery and embarks on a soul search, aided by a therapist, with particular healing skills. Slowly, joy and hope begin to filter through the layers of depression and Stephens beautifully describes a renewed optimism for life emerging.

Stephens has touched on the taboo, both in terms of her decision to talk bravely of her personal encounter with depression and of the challenges of an expatriate life, that on the face of it seems immersed in glamour and privilege. This book will help others who are facing similar struggles to keep taking the steps forwards towards a brighter life, be they expatriates or not. On a human level the story is one that encourages compassion from one individual to another and the satisfaction of seeing a troubled soul emerge in a new lightness.”

Read more about the book here.

Lynne Harkes is the author of Spinach Soup for the Walls: Finding my spirit in Africa (Local Legend, 2012). Read more about her book here.

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