Celebrating the Lessons of Living and Loving
Iyanla Vanzant knows plenty about dealing with just such "crap." She has led a difficult life, full of periods of abuse and self-loathing, but she has managed to learn "the lessons beneath the tears" and move beyond her grief and into understanding. In Yesterday, I Cried, she passes these lessons along, continually stressing that past hardships can and should be used to teach us how to grow, heal, and love others and ourselves. The message is one that has been echoed in her bestsellers One Day My Soul Just Opened Up and In the Meantime, but when presented as a memoir, the result is particularly moving.
As any regular Oprah viewer knows, Vanzant is a feisty and charismatic orator, and her no-nonsense style translates well into print. She is candid about her experiences without ever painting herself as a victim, effectively coming across as inspirational rather than preachy or self-pitying. The tone of the book is especially engaging because she seems to be actively working out her problems as she writes, gently pulling the reader into what becomes a mutual catharsis. "Of all things to master," she asks, "why did I have to pick tears?" By the end of Yesterday, I Cried, she finds the answer. And in searching the depths of her own soul, she encourages others to do the same.