For women everywhere, a collection of fierce and often funny personal essays on finding ‘enough’—from the James Beard Award-winning author of the Gluten-Free Girl cookbooks
Like so many American women, Shauna M. Ahern spent decades feeling not good enough about her body, about money, and about her worth in this culture. For a decade, with the help of her husband, she ran a successful food blog, wrote award-winning cookbooks, and raised two children. In the midst of this, at age 48, she suffered a mini-stroke. Tests revealed she would recover fully, but when her doctor impressed upon her that emotional stress can cause physical damage, she dove deep inside herself to understand and let go of a lifetime of damaging patterns of thought.
With candor and humor, Ahern traces the arc of her life in essays, starting with the feeling of “not good enough” which was sown in a traumatic childhood and dogged her well into adulthood. She writes about finding her rage, which led her to find her enduring motto: enough pretending. And she chronicles how these phases have opened the door to living more joyfully today with mostly enough: friends, family, and her community.
Readers will be moved by Ahern’s brave stories. They will also find themselves in these essays, since we all have to find our own definition of enough.
About the Author
SHAUNA M. AHERN is a James Beard Award-winning author of four acclaimed cookbooks, including Gluten-Free Girl Every Day. A personal essayist at heart, her work has been published or recognized by the New York Times, Bon Appétit, the Guardian, and the Washington Post. She lives on a rural island outside of Seattle with her husband and two children.
A Brené Brown "Nightstand" Pick
“Reading Shauna [M. Ahern] is what taught me we need never be ashamed of our appetites. In Enough, she breaks open the myth that women who want are to be feared, and allows us to take up the space we were born to occupy. Plus, she’s very, very funny.” —Lena Dunham, filmmaker, actress, and author of Not That Kind of Girl
“Frank and engaging...[A] beautiful new memoir...Some of my favorite memoirs break down the divide between story and reader, creating a sense that, for a while, readers are living alongside the author. Such is the case with Enough. Ahern’s insights are a gift to readers as she outlines the steps that brought her closer to things that matter: writing, creativity, time with family and community, the cultivation of gratitude and spirituality—as well as all the ways these things are bound up in and amplified by great food.” —Diana Abu-Jaber, The Washington Post
“A candid, instructive memoir of self-growth.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Ahern shares her relatable journey from a painful childhood growing up with a difficult mother and an adolescence filled with shame for both her body and how different she felt from her peers. Her candid voice, which is at times both funny and poignant, guides readers through her life, always with a reflective eye...A courageous memoir by a gifted writer, this is the authentic and honest journey of someone who has sought out a life lived with purpose, and a brave testimony of one woman’s empowerment.” —Booklist
“Enough isn’t just the incredibly well-written story of Shauna Ahern’s life, it's also one of the best accounts of human growth I've ever read. Through abuse, rejection, illness, romance, motherhood, and finally, authentic truth-telling, Ahern leans into the uncomfortable realities of being a person in the world. Reader, do not be afraid. These uncomfortable truths are told so compassionately, so beautifully, you won’t be tempted to look away. This book reveals the big heart of one woman, and in return, shows us so much of what we can hope to become.” —Ashley C. Ford, writer and host of BuzzFeed News’s PROFILE
“Shauna Ahern’s beautifully crafted collection of essays ferries us through her courageous journey from decades of shame and uncertainty toward a life of agency, freedom, and dignity. Raw and vulnerable, Enough is a testament to the healing power of a purpose-filled life.” —Lisa Congdon, artist and author of A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives
“This rich and candid collection will be a balm for anyone who has inhabited the tricky space between daughter and mother, wife and woman, woman and human being. Enough feels like a long exhalation.” —Molly Wizenberg, author of A Homemade Life and Delancey