[Book Review] All I Know by Mary Coustas

All I Know – A Memoir Of Love, Loss and Life

All I KnowAuthor: Mary Coustas
Year: 2013
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

I don’t feel I can really review this book in the usual manner, it is though a beautiful piece written from the heart and it is an emotional roller coaster. It is well written of course, Mary Coustas is one talented woman. But this book goes beyond being well written, this is about the life of its author, her ups and downs and struggles with her own body. There is much here that we all can relate to, and through everything Mary has an incredible strength that we all can not only be proud of but can admire her for it.

Having my own problems in life, it is never easy to read or hear about anyone else having issues and problems. The way that Mary writes about what she has been through and the lessons she has learned was very eye opening for me and this experience has definitely made me not want to take anything or anyone for granted. Life needs to be lived, and I can agree with Mary on this, through the loss and pain, moving on is important. Much like Mary I have suffered my own loss and moving on is not something I have fully achieved, do we ever? I think it is something we need to allow ourselves to do, through forgiveness. Reading her words made me realise this and it is something I need to work on and for that I do thank her deeply.

Reading about Mary’s struggles with her own body, not being able to have children is heartbreaking. Having received that very news myself from age 16, it’s not something that I think one just gets over but there are ways around it. Mary went forth in finding those ways around it, and through those extremely tough times, she showed a strength that I rarely get to see in people. Through the worst of news, giving up ultimately just was not an option. The pregnancy eventually did happen but what followed was excruciating to read, and my heart broke so many times for Mary. Out of all of this Mary did give birth to Stevie, who I believe gave her something special. While Stevie is not here, her spirit certainly is and my own feeling is that she gave Mary more strength to keep going.

This story does have a happy ending, and while the book itself ends before that time, there is a certain amount of positive and uplifting feelings that come from it. Mary has taught me so much just with her words, that life is now being seen differently. I wish Mary all the best, she truly is a special person. With the birth of Jamie, a dream has now come true and life’s lemons have indeed become lemonade for Mary. How special it must be to have gone through so much and having light brighten things up once again. I cannot end this without also thanking Mary for being an amazing bestie to my sister, you are both kindred spirits and helped each other through so many tough times.

With all of this said, I urge everyone to please read this book, and seek out more about Mary Coustas and what she has been through, 60 Minutes did a wonderful story last year and the follow up will be coming very soon.


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