Book Review: Slow by Brooke McAlary

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Title: Slow
Author: Brooke McAlary
Publication Date: September 5th 2017

Synopsis: "Once upon a time, Brooke McAlary thought she was close to having it all. Married to a wonderful man, mother to a lively young daughter, and pregnant for a second time, she'd acquired all the things she'd once thought important - holidays, cars, a renovated home. Yet despite this she found herself utterly despondent. Realising that they wanted a simpler, more fulfilling existence, Brooke and her family gradually created their own way of living. Everything changed when she began decluttering. What began as an effort to remove some of the excess, slowly evolved into a complete transformation. Gone is the overwhelm, the clutter, the excess, the busy-ness, replaced by a simpler, more meaningful, and contented life.

In Slow, Brooke gently encourages you to find pleasure and value in a simpler life, sharing the practical tips and practices that have helped her and her family become happier and more fulfilled. And... she and her husband are self-employed and enjoy a life centred on the important things - which, it turns out, aren't really things at all.

Part memoir, part practical companion, Slow provides a fascinating insight into the benefits of slowing down. It will inspire you to forget about the Joneses and create a life filled with the things that really matter to you... slowly, of course."

My thoughts: I am fascinated by, and fairly dedicated to, the lifestyle of Slow Living. Whether I came to it because of my own personality, or because of my health going pretty much South (and not just for the winter), I'm not sure, but ultimately I am here and marvel in it.

This book is really well put together. It takes you through Brooke's own path towards slow living, and gives you a couple of exercises to get you thinking in the same way. The layout is beautiful and minimalist, with a scattering of illustrations and photos, ultimately making the whole tone of the book relaxed and lovely.

The chapter structure very gently takes you through the different parts of Brooke's path of slow living - she acknowledges early on that not every part of her journey may be a part of other people's journeys, and then just gets on with her thoughts and gentle suggestions for the reader to try. Items she talks about include: decluttering, mindfulness, and disconnecting from technology. She also has a section on backslides, which I found very helpful.

Overall, this book felt like it was written for me. It was gentle whilst still being full of wisdom, and I felt lit up whilst reading it. I have done the few exercises in the book, and it has inspired me to declutter even more things (my husband and I tend to do this regularly, anyway) and completely rethink what is actually important to me. I highly recommend it.

[I received a review copy of this book from Allen & Unwin in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!!]

A favourite line from the book: 'I yearn for the simple things. Lying on the grass and watching the clouds. Taking a spontaneous drive to the beach. Evenings spent beside a backyard campfire. The undeniable joy of coaxing a seed to life in the dirt.'

You would like this book if: You are at all interested in Slow Living, decluttering, mindfulness... gentle things and introspection.

Tea to drink while reading this book: I was drinking an awful lot of rooibos chai (I made it myself from other blends from T2 - Spi Chai and Red mixed together in a pretty tin!) and I would highly recommend that because the loose leaf-ness of it forces you to slow down and take a moment to just be absorbed in the making of your tea ^_^

Rating:  10/10

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