Bethenny Frankel’s motivational/semi-memoir A Place of Yes does the job that motivational stories are supposed to: motivate. Yes, it’s that simple.
With the popularity of celebrities, and anybody who thinks they are a celebrity, writing books and making perfume, it’s getting difficult to sort through the sludge of publicized media anymore. Is this famed person actually writing it? Or is some sad intern making $150 ghost writing the whole mess?
However, it is best to give Frankel the benefit of the doubt, as the writing in the book is undoubtedly her. The callous directness, humor, and ball-busting attitude is something we associate with her from the shows The Real Housewives of New York City and Bethenny Ever After. Frankel breaks down ten rules for making your life your own, and for making it well-lived. She opens up all the skeletons in her closet for us to see, so that we can learn by her mistakes and successes. Dysfunctional family? It’s okay, she’s got it. Failed risks and crappy jobs? Yep. Finally finding love and success? That, too.
The phrase "a place of yes" resonates throughout, and the message sinks in. It’s not about saying yes to everything, or even being overly optimistic. Here lies the key difference between this book and the thousands of other self-motivating texts out there: it’s not about being the happiest person alive, but about learning what’s true to you and embracing it. Only then can the rest of our life, and subsequent relationships, follow suit and become complete and healthy. There is a lot of "noise" with family, money, friends and social expectations, but Frankel reveals behaviors and patterns that we can break in order to free ourselves from... well, ourselves. Her no-nonsense attitude reads like an authentic viewpoint and honest assessment rather than a vapid attempt to make money off a book .
So, why does this book connect to the majority of people? Because it’s not written by a super chipper person that exhausts us as we think, "I will never be like that." We all want to be happy, but not that happy. As Frankel admits, "Hell I’m in a crappy mood half the time, I’m a pain in the ass, and nobody would describe me as cheerful or agreeable." This book is from one moody human to all others. She has managed to find a way to make life work in a crazy world, and hopes to pass that lesson on to others. Now that’s motivation I can buy into.
A Place of Yes is recommended for:
- Book clubs
- The millions of disaffected of Americans
Not recommended for:
- Oprah Winfrey