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A review of Julie Roberts’ Beauty in the Breakdown finds the book wanting.
Country music singer Julie Roberts is no stranger to overcoming hard times through determination, hard work, and strength. Having escaped the emotional residue of her alcoholic father’s actions and insults, Julie moved from South Carolina to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend Belmont University and work as a receptionist at Mercury Records—all while secretly pursuing her dream of becoming a singer.
Just as Julie’s dreams were coming true, her life began to unravel. Soon, she was battling debilitating physical illness, the rising waters of Nashville’s hundred-year flood, and a stalled career. Instead of succumbing to despair, Julie proved miraculously resilient—taking the steps she needed to face adversity head on and rebuild her life through her characteristic optimism, hard work, and faith.
As someone who is battling her own debilitating physical illness, I was very curious to see how Roberts discussed her battle with MS and since I didn’t know her story beforehand I was curious to see what specifically she went through. Unfortunately I was extremely disappointed after reading through her book. It seems as though the majority of her book was focused on domestic abuse, the Nashville flood, a stalled career (including an audition on The Voice), and relationship ups and downs. There were a couple brief mentions of two (?) MS flare ups including the first that led to her diagnosis.
Thankfully for Roberts it seems her situation has never been too debilitating where she had to put her career to the side and go on disability. In fact she was even able to continue her musical set whilst experiencing her first MS flare up. I was impressed. It seems that Roberts has Relapsing-Remitting MS. While I would wish this on no one, it is probably the best option out of the four types of MS. Yes, Roberts does briefly mention that those with progressive MS often end up in a wheelchair but if you yawn you probably missed it.
For anyone who is keen to learn more about MS and how celebrities overcome such disabilities, I would steer clear of this memoir. Roberts’ book is 100% geared towards her fans who are more interested in the ups and downs of her musical career. The “breakdowns” (domestic abuse, flooding, and health/MS) are but small blurbs in the memoir with again the focus on Roberts’ career ups and downs.
If you are a fan of Julie Roberts, you might enjoy this book and especially the Audible with Roberts narrating. And if you’ve never yet tried Audible, now would be a good time to get a free trial that includes this book free.