Butterfly Awakens

A Memoir of Transformation Through Grief

Non-Fiction - Memoir
312 Pages
Reviewed on 07/10/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

Butterfly Awakens: A Memoir of Transformation Through Grief by Meg Nocero takes you on a transformational journey as she shares her experience of dealing with the tragic loss of her mother, a toxic work environment, and bouts with her own health that involve stress, anxiety, and a somatic nervous disorder. Not another memoir about rising up to life’s challenges, you say? Not another, but an extraordinary one. Nocero takes you beyond grief and makes you understand the work she went through in dealing with the pain of losing a mother and navigating a toxic work environment. This is a story not only of loss but of her journey toward healing as she searches for a lighthouse that manifests in her dreams and ultimately leads to her healing and closure. Like a butterfly that emerges from its chrysalis, you witness Nocero transform into a better version of herself.

In her prologue, Nocero asks you to call her 'butterfly' to represent the symbolism aligning her soul, and I’d be happy to call her that. Her memoir is rich in symbolic meaning and it reminds me of that Trina Paulus storybook, Hope for the Flowers. Nocero achieves individuation through self-searching and abandons the old attitudes that stopped her from spreading her wings. As a memoir, Butterfly Awakens demonstrates how we become vulnerable in our connections to those in our lives who passed away and also makes us vulnerable to the loss of stability as it disrupts our patterns. Nocero writes with raw emotion. Her capacity to cope and creative ability to seek change (including writing this book) is so inspiring that it takes solid footing in the notion that our lives must not stop just because we lost someone dearly beloved. You need to move on, but you should always take the memory of those who touched your life with you. Read it and see if it’s just another one of those memoirs. I dare you.

Tammy Ruggles

Butterfly Awakens: A Memoir of Transformation Through Grief by Meg Nocero is much more than a memoir; it's a life-affirming memoir that reveals the journey, pain, and trials the author faced as she dealt with the loss of her mother, who succumbed to cancer. This is the catalyst that prompted Meg to do a deep dive into her own soul to find out who she was and what she wanted out of life. But it wasn't an easy path. She suffered physically, psychologically, and emotionally, starting with being bullied at school when she was in the fifth grade. Later, as an adult, while focusing on her mother, she also learned to focus on herself, eventually turning into the butterfly she was meant to be.

Nocero brings you into her story with her amazing way with words, spirituality, and imagery, causing you to connect with her experiences even though yours may be somewhat different. You'll struggle with her during her role as an attorney, and understand that this was only one cog in the machinery that propelled her toward her personal truth, which was partially prompted by the vision of a lighthouse at the passing of her mother. She turns her successful journey into a calling to help lead others to find purpose, path, and light. What really stands out to me is the author's insight, and how she conveys what she's learned with power and grace. This book isn't a one-sided memoir of a person's life. It's a guide that will help you come to a fuller understanding and appreciation of the potential and value you have inside. Each chapter has thoughtful content we can relate to, and golden nuggets of practicality and wisdom, sometimes through anecdotes, sometimes through quotations. I especially like her advice to choose faith over fear. If you're having trouble finding happiness and healing, Butterfly Awakens: A Memoir of Transformation Through Grief by Meg Nocero could be the motivation you need to do some self-exploration.

Ruffina Oserio

Butterfly Awakens: A Memoir of Transformation through Grief by Meg Nocero is a poignant story of loss, grief, healing, and personal transformation. The author is a middle-aged Italian-American woman who felt helpless as she watched her mother struggle and die of breast cancer. While the loss was painful for her, she had other challenges, including a difficult and toxic work environment, depression, anxiety, and a nervous disorder. This memoir tells the story of her journey toward healing and transformation, a tale of resilience and grit that has strong emotional moments and lessons to guide readers on their own journey as they follow the same process of transformation we see in butterflies.

The author takes readers on an emotional ride that starts with the early formative years of her life, when she became acutely aware of how others despised her physical appearance. This was an experience that led her to be closeted, both literally and metaphorically, struggling with low self-esteem. Her mother had been a champion for her, encouraging her on the path of forgiveness and “letting go.” So, her death left a huge vacuum in Meg's life. This memoir is her spiritual odyssey, a journey toward spiritual growth and moral transformation that is packed with allegories and compelling symbolism. It is filled with insightful passages, intelligent reflections about life, reality, and personal development. Meg Nocero lifts the veil and allows readers to see her vulnerable fragility, allowing her humanity to come across powerfully. But the path she describes in Butterfly Awakens gives hope to readers that change is possible, that they can get better, healed, fulfilled, and empowered. One of the books I would highly recommend for book clubs.