Julie Evans’ Joy Road: My Journey from Addiction to Recovery will attract a wide variety of readers. There are those who will prize this book because they have travelled similar paths in life; Evans’ journey will parallel their experiences despite any differences in time and place and her robust account of the detours and pitfalls she endured on the road towards recovery will be an inspiration as well as a cautionary tale in some respects. Others who have not wandered down the same dark and blind alleys will, nonetheless, value the book for its obvious dedication towards self-improvement. There will be many, as well, who will hold the book in high esteem because of its honesty and how Evans can face her often problematic past with forgiveness and an unblinking stare.
WORDS BY JULIE EVANS: http://www.wordsbyjulieevans.com/
It isn’t a grim account. Evans’ journey isn’t always beset by trauma or indignity; there is humor and love strewn throughout the pages of Joy Road. Evans’ ability to see both the good and bad extends to her depiction of the various men and women who colored her life experiences along the way and her unabashed depiction of the sensory experiences those years offered should provoke no judgments from readers. We can be certain, if they do, that she doesn’t give a damn. Her intention here is clear; Evans hopes we gain something from the reading of her book, any author who says they don’t are liars, but she wrote this book for herself, from first page to last, and anything we take away from the experience is just gravy.
It is a short and breezy read. Breezy, however, doesn’t mean it is some sort of gloss job. Instead, Evans communicates her story with ease, wearing the narrative like a loose garment, and the lack of affectation present in her prose is a blessing. Joy Road might be a chore to read if she chose to bog down the narrative with a heavy-handed pseudo literary prose style. She has written a memoir that never talks down to readers, resists any temptation to preach, and doesn’t promote any systematic program of recovery, ala Narcotics Anonymous or similar. This is a book about her life, who she met, and what she learned along the way; its agenda is human, not conceptual or prescriptive.
The digital edition of the book is presented in a straight forward and classy fashion. There are no typos or errors marring the text; the reading experience is uninterrupted by unprofessional flaws and any reader will be grateful for that experience. Few readers will conclude this book feeling let down. The deep and giving nature of this text is reflective of these elements in Evans’ character and this makes an important final point – despite all of the experiences she shares in this volume, what comes through clearer than anything else is Evans’ soul in full and we are enriched by the experience of her baring it for the world with its attendant tears and joy marking it throughout.