By: Meg Nocero
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication Date: September 2021
Reviewed by: Lynette Latzko
Butterfly Awakens is a profoundly moving memoir of transformation through grief and finding one’s purpose, written by seasoned author and former attorney, Meg Nocero. This book is set up in three main segments, which combine as a memorial tribute to her mother and anyone who is currently struggling to find their way through the darkened tunnels of life and adversity.
Readers begin in the first section learning about the author’s wonderful mother, Mary Jo (who has been a solid rock of support for Meg her entire life) and her mother's breast cancer diagnosis, subsequent journey through treatment, and her death, that unfortunately sends the author into a tailspin of not only deep sadness, but fear and anxiety as well. Without Mary Jo's regular loving support that Meg relied upon since childhood, she finds herself at loose ends, questioning her life's purpose. To make matters worse, Meg is having difficulties at work that has her feeling underappreciated, stuck, and completely stressed.
As time progresses into the second part of this memoir, Meg's grief and anxiety culminate in both physical and mental issues, including nightmares and unbearable tinnitus. When her job stress worsens, her pleas for less work hours fall on deaf ears, and her family seems unable to completely understand what she's going through, Meg briefly finds hiding in her bedroom closet a temporary relief of her pain. Realizing that she desperately needs help, she reaches out to an old friend who suggests she seek the assistance of Chinese medicine, and together with talk therapy, journaling, and finally being granted some time off from work, Meg begins to piece together a plan that will get her through the oppressive darkness that has her trapped inside.
In the third and final segment, partially titled "Live, Laugh, Love - Beginning the Journey to Bliss!" Nocero begins with honoring the seventh anniversary of her mother's death two days before embarking on a week-long pilgrimage in Spain called the Camino De Santiago, which she hopes will be the final journey to discover her inner happiness.
Meg Nocero's Butterfly Awakens is without a doubt a candid, vivid and beautifully written story that has the potential to shower its wisdom upon anyone who reads it, regardless of their past or current situations. While memoirs are profoundly personal experiences that are usually presented with great intentions (making them sometimes a little awkward to review), there are a few segments in the story that seem a bit lengthy and may be interpreted as boastful, such as the author meeting a few celebrities during the course of her transformation. Also, Ms. Nocero had a lot of resources at her disposal that assisted in her difficult times that may not be as easily accessible for the average person going through a similar situation, and therefore some of her experiences may not be that relatable. That doesn't, however, change the fact that Butterfly Awakens is for anyone, regardless of their situation, who is searching for inspiration, encouragement, and hope on their own path of transformation.
Quill says: In Meg Nocero's memoir, Butterfly Awakens, she personally shows us all that we can pick ourselves up from the worst possible grief and inner turmoil only to awaken our inner butterfly...we all have it inside us.
To learn more about Butterfly Awakens: A Memoir of Transformation Through Grief, please visit the author's website at: www.megnocero.com