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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Basements & Blossoms: A Few Recollections of the Ugliness That Made My Life Beautiful by Lana Reid is a memoir and self-help guide both rolled into one amazing book. The author takes the reader on a journey in which she shares her life story with them and shows them how life can be a little tough, but still beautiful. From sharing anecdotes about how her mother used to say useful yet random things at odd times to sharing how the life of a woman (and black) can be challenged at every given opportunity, the author gives a hard yet honest look at real life. Being black and bold is not a good combination in some people’s book, but Lana’s mother gave her golden advice and she uses that to her advantage. Throughout the book, the author shares some fun times, some bad times, scary times, and sad times.
The fact that Lana Reid is a professional speaker is very much evident in the book. Lana shares her story in a systematic way that allows the reader to get a glimpse into her life without feeling like an intruder. She invites readers into her life and once they are inside her mind, they will not want to leave. I enjoyed how she gave us a preamble and then jumped into what she wanted to tell readers. The first person narrative makes you feel like talking to a friend. Lana makes it a personal and private conversation between two confidants. I have to admit, I had to stop reading at some points because the absolutely horrible (and sometimes terrifying) things that happened to the author were too much for me. How she lived through it all and had the courage to share her story with readers is amazing. This is an inspiring book; it proves to be a fitting read at the moment when all of us are looking for some hope and inspiration. I hope I can be as positive as Lana is. I also hope this book gives courage to many women and men to take the steps to be happy as well.