Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Never Broken by Jewel
At the height of the grunge era of music, singer-songwriter Jewel released her first album, Pieces of You. Although the album didn't sell well initially, eventually her single "Who Will Save Your Soul" began receiving considerable air play, making Jewel a commercial success. What many people don’t know is that Jewel’s personal life has been turbulent, both before and after achieving success.
Jewel’s memoir, Never Broken, is a candid look at her life: growing up in Alaska with an abusive father and absent mother, being homeless and living in her car, getting discovered in the music industry, ending the toxic relationship with her mother, getting married, becoming a mother, divorcing her husband, and finally, finding herself in a place of peace and hopefulness.
Despite her struggles, Jewel shares some good memories in this book. She tells about how she began performing with her father at the young age of eight in bars and clubs. She also tells the story of how her grandparents came to Alaska from Switzerland and settled on a homestead that lacked many modern conveniences that are so easily taken for granted. Throughout her life, music and writing have been her constant sources of healing and expression.
The end of the book feels almost like a self-help guide, in which Jewel discusses the strategies that have helped her break the cycle of abuse in her family. She also shares the techniques--some psychological, some spiritual--that have made her a better person overall.
Never Broken is a surprisingly open, sincere memoir from someone who has lived a complicated and sometimes painful life. But ultimately, it's a life that's now filled with joy from being a mother and from becoming secure in herself as an individual.
Search the VBPL catalog for Never Broken along with Jewel’s latest CD, Picking Up the Pieces. For another confessional memoir by a singer-songwriter, try Facing the Music by Jennifer Knapp.