Year of Fear
By Noelle Hancock
ECCO, $14.99, 290 pages
In March 2008, along with 80,000 other people, Noelle Hancock lost her job. Her 6-figure income as a lives-of-the-rich-and-famous blogger ended, leaving her, and 80,000 others, looking for work. Sitting in a neighborhood coffee shop, she noticed a small chalkboard with a quote on it: “Do one thing every day that scares you. Eleanor Roosevelt” Haunted by that quote, she began a search not only for a job but also for herself by facing things that scared her.
“Dr. Bob once told me that all our fears-no matter how irrational they may seem to us today-are in some sense survival based.”
My Year with Eleanor is an easy read as Hancock’s writing flows smoothly from the challenges in which she places herself (like taking trapeze lessons and submerging herself in a cage in the ocean to face sharks) to stories about and quotes from Roosevelt to Hancock’s personal growth reflections. With candor and humor, she shares some of her sessions with her counselor as well as her insecurities regarding her relationship with her boyfriend. Her friends add warmth, camaraderie and humor. I laughed so hard and abruptly in some places that people around me grinned and wanted to know what I was reading. It recommended itself.
Reviewed By Mary-Lynne Monroe