Isabel Losada leaves no stone unturned--literally--on her trip down The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment
. Wishing to live her life "completely, abundantly, joyfully and stupidly" she makes an entertaining travelling companion as she describes her efforts to move away from her in-a-rut life where "nothing was changing". And she takes us everywhere with her: a life-skills course in North London; a convent retreat in Oxford; T'ai chi in France; a massage in Bath--even the past as she explores her previous incarnations. The journey is invigorating and exhausting and enriched by the numerous characters she meets en route.
The book is much more than a travelogue, however. Losada describes with considerable skill and sensitivity the breakthroughs in the lives of people around her--the woman who starts to work through childhood abuse, for instance, and another who confronts the bullies from school--and her honesty is refreshing and often surprising (her description of colonic irrigation takes the breath away). Often she picks up useful nuggets of inspiration that the reader can take away and digest and these are sprinkled through the text. Intercut throughout is her life with her daughter in a "shoebox" in Battersea and her burgeoning romance with Mark, the man she meets at a hypnotherapy seminar.
Losada has an entertaining and witty style and comes across as somewhat bossy but likeable all the same. And the stones she doesn't leave unturned?
The first part of this new experience involved sitting up and lying down again on to a row of hot stones that had been laid down to head up the muscles on either side of the spine. Damned clever
. --Christina McLoughlin
'Candid, thought-provoking, sassy and very, very funny' Daily Telegraph 'Searching and honest' Independent on Sunday 'Remarkably revealing' Mail on Sunday 'Brazenly probing' Scotsman