Cover Image: Enough

Enough

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Member Reviews

There should be several trigger warnings for this autobiography. The author’s writing about her life and experiences is unflinching, and heartbreaking to read. It was a difficult read for me, but Amelia’s resilience shines throughout her story, and leaves the reader with a sense of hope.
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This was an incredibly difficult memoir to read, but I am grateful that I did. Part of the hand-to-my-throat factor for me was how close Zachry’s experiences were to my own. Like her I am a Malaysian woman, one who entered the slipstream of migration and has become a transcultural, transnational creature with feet and hands in multiple worlds.

I also recognized the gaslighting and the gendered physical and psychological violence embedded in Malaysian culture. I recognized the gaslighting and gendered violence she experienced embedded in human society everywhere.

This was hard, so hard, to read at so many points. I had to put this book down multiple times. But the discomfort it caused was also what forced me to return to it. The kind of emotional disturbance Zachry’s memoir inflicts is that which can only be excised by pushing through all the way to the end.

I am glad I returned to it, acknowledged her pain my own (caused by reading it) and kept going in spite of all that. There is more than suffering in this memoir. Zachry illuminates a healing path too.

Zachry’s memoir is not a Malaysian one, although this is a cultural aspect of her experience that cannot be brushed aside. In this I recognized Zachry’s heritage as akin to my own; women told to swallow their pride, their pain, their voices. It is a world in which women remain — and are expected to remain — invisible. And this is true across Malaysia’s many cultures, ethnicities, and religious communities. For all the lovely tropical lushness of Malaysia, it is not a paradise for everyone; feminism is throttled by legal manipulations, feminists ostracized as social pariahs (even when Western-style feminism is eschewed in favor of local versions of feminism.)

But, I digress; Enough is not a memoir of a culture. Zachry’s experience is one that is all too familiar and common across cultures and in all societies. It is an extraordinary story of a crime that is horrendously ordinary. Hers was a life lived by many people; that’s what makes Enough so memorable, so relatable, so important to read.

Zachry’s memoir begins at her beginning, with childhood, then takes the reader into her teenage and early adult years. It is then that Zachry’s life is altered by an event that haunts her (even now after she has found ways to manage it). The bulk of this memoir is devoted to Zachry’s struggle with the trauma of this event, her path to a recovery, and it ends with a substantial section on her present life which shifts the focus to the traumas of migration and the development of her transcultural identity. Zachry’s journey to a happy place is not one filled with woo-woo cures or unattainable magic pills. Zachry documents how hard work, emotional work punctuated by slips and backslides is the tried and true path; one accessible to all of us, at least in theory.

This is a memoir for all women because this is a story we all know, first-hand, second-hand, or otherwise.
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This autobiography is not an easy read. There might be a lot of triggers for some people. The hopeful ending isn't enough to make the reader feel better, because there's not really a way out, just a way to cope with reality, and I'm not sure that's enough. I hope for the author that it's enough for her.
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Amelia’s beautifully written “Enough” is a no frills work of art.  She opens up a very personal doorway and beckons us inside to join her in her  raw, emotional journey.  Together we find ourselves  exploring the challenging topics of  timely issues, some of which can make us uncomfortable, but Amelia holds on to us as we read along and we grow to love and support her as well.  We laugh and cry with her  as she shares  intimate experiences with those she loves .  The story can be dark at times, yet it is filled with hope , strength and gratitude throughout.  
In a world where the pandemic increased the suffering of mental illness, confusion about life and loneliness, this book is a must read for our times.  

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and this beautiful author for the humble honor to read this book.
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Amelia Zachry's Enough is overall a hopeful story. Her parents take off during some rather formative years for work, leaving her and her younger brother with family. Upon their return, she expects to study abroad--a promise that was made when they left, however money is tighter than expected and Amelia's plans change. She attends a satellite university near home, at which she meets a group of very mean kids who bully her. This group of college kids allow a horrible event to transpire, which Amelia does not realize for many years is not her fault and was a setup. Subsequent years of Amelia's life are spent flailing; college credits lost, roommates alienated, family pushed away, and years spent floundering from one terrible relationship to the next, dancing dangerously on the edge of death and disaster, feeling like she's ruined, worthless, and unworthy of goodness because someone has taken her innocence away from her. Years later a figure shows up in her life gives her a glimmer of hope, and takes the time to see her though the darkness. This relationship allows Amelia to see her past more clearly, and allows some healing to occur, both within herself and also with her family.
Enough is a story of loss, but it is also a story of redemption and the things gained after the phoenix rises from the ashes. Zachry frank writing about depression, anxiety, trauma, relationships and motherhood is beautiful and honest. Rarely have I seen such perceptive writing about the ups and downs of mental illness--what it actually feels like when you are in the depths of it. I would put Enough up there with essential readings by Elizabeth Wurtzel and Jenny Lawson, though Zachry has certainly paved her own road with her writing style. I relate to her story so much, even though we are very different people, and isn't that what great writers do?
Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this book. I highly recommend this book and the opinions shared here are my own.
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