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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Distillation is Beautiful is a work of non-fiction written in the form of a memoir by author Erin Eldridge. Suitable for readers of all sensibilities thanks to the author’s tactful referencing of the sexual situations which take place, this relatable and highly emotive memoir looks at the life of the author from New Zealand in the 1950s onwards. In what seemed like an idyllic, prosperous and peaceful time for the country as a whole, Eldridge recounts how she was devalued by her family, and how the scars they gave her impacted her behavior and future life. But it is also a story of triumph over those adversities and leaving the past behind.
Author Erin Eldridge has produced a raw and honest memoir that is sure to interest readers for its pure emotional integrity, but also its professional narrative approach to the scars of the past. There is a wonderful juxtaposition at play between the nostalgia of the supposed golden era of '50s New Zealand against the realities of bitter and dark attitudes and the way that Eldridge became a victim of those. It creates a bittersweet feeling to the memoir that makes you a little uneasy in your stomach, which provides an excellent insight into the emotional journey of the author when writing. Moreover, the work shows immense strength and is written with a compassionate tone that conveys the narrative, but also brings hope and inspiration to it as it builds. Overall, I’d definitely recommend Distillation is Beautiful to memoir fans seeking their next emotive read.