Book Review: Are You Susan?

By Sue Haines

Jeremy Zerby
2 min readMay 22, 2022


Every single one of us has a story to tell. We have all gone through something, and there is always someone who can benefit from hearing those tales. I believe this is why memoirs are so popular. Everyone wants, at some level, to either tell their story or read the stories of someone they can relate to. So when I was emailed about Are You Susan, part of me was drawn to it. But I was also initially a little put off. The excerpt I read began with,

While I am not a writer by profession, it was important for me to tell you my story without the guidance of a ghost writer.

Or maybe it did not begin that way, but that was the line that stuck out to me. I had this prejudiced feeling that it was going to be poorly written, independently published and therefore also poorly edited, maybe even repetitive in its use of certain words or phrases. So I held onto the email for a little while and debated whether or not I wanted to give it a chance.

I am damn glad I did!

Are You Susan is one of the most powerful stories I have read in a long time. I was under the impression that it was going to focus on the power of restorative justice, and was pleasantly surprised that it did not. She mentions it, and talks about how powerful of an experience it was for her, but it is by no means a sales pitch for the practice.

Her focus is on telling her story of escape from addiction and domestic violence. And her journey towards a place of personal healing and forgiveness of herself and those who perpetrated actions against her.

The book is potentially triggering for those who have a shared experience with her. She does not hold back from describing what she has gone through. But that is also part of its power.

Do not sleep on this quick read. She may not be a “professional” writer, but she has a gift for storytelling and a drive to help others find healing and forgiveness.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.



Jeremy Zerby

Hermeneutics, religion, pop psychology, self-help, and culture. They are all connected, and I am here to explain how.