Posted in reviews

On the Way to Casa Lotus by Lorena Junco Margain Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

What should have been a simple procedure to heal herself goes wrong and one woman must go on a journey of forgiveness and healing in author Lorena Junco Margain’s “On the Way to Casa Lotus”. 

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The Synopsis

Lorena Junco Margain—passionate art collector and devoted wife and mother—is already shaken after abruptly fleeing Mexico and relocating in the USA with her family while pregnant due to safety concerns. Then, she learns she has a tumor on her adrenal gland. Having long experienced unexplained symptoms of dizziness and lethargy that neither medications nor holistic or Ayurvedic treatments have helped, she embraces the news with tears of relief: with a simple surgery, she can regain her strength and joyful spirit. But fate can be mischievous, and to err is human—even for surgeons. Rather than improve after surgery, her condition worsens.

On the Way to Casa Lotus is the gripping true story of Junco Margain’s journey coming to terms with the permanent consequences of a surgeon’s devastating mistake. Mindful that even good people make errors and that vengeance would not mend her broken body or soul, she chooses instead to embark on a quest for peace and healing—beginning by seeking space in her heart to forgive.

Deeply compassionate, wise and poetic, On the Way to Casa Lotus lays bare some of the most poignant contradictions of the human condition, blurring the distinctions between guilt and neglectfulness, anger and sorrow, humility and shame, gratitude and despair. Rich with imagery and metaphors from the world of contemporary art, brimming with scenes from the author’s close-knit, abundantly loving Mexican family, the book plants a seed of hope that loss and pain can serve a higher purpose: one of promoting forgiveness as a force for personal and universal change.

The Review

This was a beautiful memoir that made a huge impact early on in the book. The author takes a really fresh and kind look at a terrible situation. Striking to find the balance between speaking up for oneself and forgiving someone who has wronged you can be a tricky thing to do, especially in this modern age where people can be vilified with the simple push of a button. It was refreshing to see the author’s perspective take flight in this book, highlighting the heartbreaking reality that no matter how good a person is, we are all flawed, and hating someone is never going to change that.

The author does a wonderful job of capturing so much within this book. From the author’s culture and the shock of leaving the life you know behind to find safety in a much different land, to the fear and frustration that can come with facing not only a difficult health diagnosis but a failed attempt at correcting that diagnosis, this book expertly weaves the author’s life and experiences together while finding the perfect harmony with the author’s message of hope and forgiveness. 

The Verdict

A heartfelt, emotional, and ultimately uplifting memoir that highlights the journey to overcome a great wrong and find peace in the wake of tragedy, author Lorena Junco Margain’s “On the Way to Casa Lotus” is a must-read non-fiction read. A thought-provoking story that speaks to so many of us, the author creates a great sense of pacing and imagery that brings their experiences to life wonderfully, and readers will be hard-pressed to put this book down themselves. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

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About the Author

Born and raised in Mexico (Monterrey and Mexico City), author, art collector, and philanthropist Lorena Junco Margain studied visual arts at Universidad de Monterrey before cofounding the Distrito14 gallery as a platform to amplify emerging Mexican artists. Soon afterward, she cofounded and curated the Margain-Junco Collection with her husband, Eduardo Margain, to support emerging artists, foster the art scene in Mexico, and promote awareness of Mexican art internationally. She also played an instrumental role in launching the 2015 Shaped in Mexico contemporary art exhibition in London. In 2008, Junco Margain was forced to flee Mexico with her husband, children, parents, and extended family due to concerns for their safety. Today she lives with her husband and three kids in Austin, Texas.

Posted in reviews

Loving Ordinary Life by Anastasia Petrenko Review

Are you tired of the typical “self-help” books? Then this might be for you. Rather than focus on experimental treatments from around the world or a surreal look at the ins and outs of the self-help world, author Anastasia Petrenko introduces readers to Loving Ordinary Life: a self help book for people who are tired of self-help books. The short and easy read is a simple guide on how to be your best self without changing yourself and learning to accept who you are in the most loving way possible. Here is the synopsis:

Loving Ordinary Life is written for us: living, emotional people.

We all want to live a happy life, but we can easily fall into a state of despondency. We prefer to smile, but more often we frown.

We like being inspired, but most likely, we can’t recall the last time when we were.

There are many books and courses about self-motivation and inspiration. You might have heard hundreds of platitudes and affirmations. Each of them sounds valid but their utility is limited when you actually find yourself stuck in a pit of pain and despair.

Loving Ordinary Life is meant to make a functional difference. It’s not a treatment for depression. It is about living a life where depression has no place.

Loving Ordinary Life is your guide. It is designed so that you can open any page and find the inspiration to act and improve your life when you’re feeling down.

Each chapter in Loving Ordinary Life is a tool for moving from a negative idle state to a positive proactive state. It displays to you the art of being present, free, and genuine every day.

If you want to be more fulfilled and enjoy life more, if you’re open to quality changes, Loving Ordinary Life will become your loyal companion.

Everything is within your power. You are the master of your life. How you experience it depends only on you. Take the lead.

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
Marcus Aurelius

This was a great and quick read. From start to finish you felt a sense of calm take over as you allowed yourself to absorb this book fully. It allows readers to examine their own lives and find happiness not from any external source, but rather from within themselves. Putting a stamp on the reliance of the self over the reliance of society, this book does a great job of creating an air of ease and an atmosphere of relative calm.

Overall this was a wonderful book. Filled with passion, compassion and genuine care, this non self help book does a marvelous job of showing the power we all have within ourselves, and how to embrace it wholeheartedly. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copies of Loving Ordinary Life by Anastasia Petrenko today!

Rating: 10/10