I was sent an advanced copy of This or Something Better , a memoir by Elisa Stancil Levine, earlier this year. Although the memoir is not very long it did take me about a week to read because some of her life experiences were pretty heavy. It’s fitting that the subheading of her book is “A Memoir of Resilience” because I can’t imagine going through even half of what she’s gone through in her life so far.
In 2017 when the Sonoma Complex Fires burned through thousands of acres of land in Sonoma County, California, Elisa and her husband Chuck evacuated. In the aftermath of the fires, Elisa reflected on her life starting from her very early childhood in the 1950s in northern California all the way to her writing the memoir post 2017 and enjoying a successful career as a decorative painter.
I don’t want to spoil any of Elisa’s story for you, but the highs and lows are real. I am in awe of all she has seen and done in her life so far and honestly I think I would’ve just given up personally! She has lived through sexual abuse as a very young child at the hands of a relative, dealing with doubt about her intelligence and abilities due to her gender, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, losing loved ones, and finding herself and love.
My heart hurt for Elisa with a lot of the things she went through, but how she got through everything and found such happiness and success is just amazing. I am in awe!
I highly recommend reading her story in This or Something Better.
*I was sent this book, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.*