Saturday, March 13, 2010


WHAT FOLLOWS ARE JUST 3 REVIEWS OF MUSICAL CHAIRS by JEN KNOX as posted on They all same the same.

Courageous Writing, November 2, 2009
By Kenneth A. Weene (Scottsdale, AZ)
"Musical Chairs" is Jen Knox's gutsy autobiographical story. It is also the weaving together of four generations of family pain and coping into a tapestry rich in that most elusive quality - the truly human.

This is a no-holds-barred book. Knox is painfully honest about herself, her past, and her battles with anxiety, restlessness, and booze. She doesn't offer rationalizations, psychobabble, or excuses. Instead, she looks for and finds the strength that comes from facing life with honesty and acceptance.

If, at times, the reader is reminded of Camus at his best, it is because Knox too finds meaning within the helpless, repetitive pointlessness which is the human condition. And, if at times, the reader feels like the author's pain and struggle are reminiscent of Kafka, it is because "Musical Chairs" is told with an attention to detail that make every moment burn itself into consciousness.

I would recommend this book to every reader. I would particularly urge it for every young woman who feels ready to take responsibility for her own life. And, if it were in my power, I would make sure it was given to every teenaged girl who attends or should be attending AlaTeen or ALANON; for this is a book which offers much to those who would choose to learn. (Kenneth Weene, PhD, author and psychologist)

Musical Chairs: One of the Most Intelligent Memoirs in Years, December 17, 2009
By Marilyn Kallet
This is a gripping, well-paced and clearly written coming-of-age story, in which a young woman finds her voice, her balance, her connectedness with her grandmother--but to get to the point of self-confidence and voice, she must go through her own personal hell. The narrator was a teenage runaway who worked as a stripper for a short time. Her intelligent self-awareness during that phase of her life is inspiring, and yes, very sensual,

This book reminds me of Catcher in the Rye, though the book in hand is creative nonfiction. It's about time we had a heroine who's smart, sassy, brave, ready to deal with adversity from within her own mind and from the external world. I'm also reminded of Jeannette Walls's The Glass Castle, which features another spunky articulate female narrator. Wall's book is a best-seller, and Jen Knox's book should be too.

I wish my sister had had this book when my niece began to experience a long series of troubles. No one in the convoluted health care system had much to offer. Luckily my niece was able to clean up and to survive dangerous streets. She is a painter and has landed on her feet with her visionary art.

For the narrator in Musical Chairs, words are the angels, hard-won.

Profoundly Honest & Deeply Moving Journey into Adulthood, December 11, 2009
By STUART MCCALLUM "Stuart / Beyond my Control" (Melbourne, Australia)
Jen Knox is an exceptionally gifted storyteller, and her memoir Musical Chairs is a captivating, emotionally charged page turner.

Soon after her parents' divorce, young Jen is riddled with teenage angst, and in desperate need to find her place in the world. Aged fifteen she leaves home and enters an adult world where some (are only too eager) to take advantage of her vulnerability. Jen grows up quick.

There is a tragic irony to Jen's story; she battles with booze which many in her family have struggled with and mental illness. I applaud Jen for facing her demons head on, and managing to restore her life while having many adversities to contend with.

I strongly believe Musical Chairs should be part of every school curriculum as the lessons in life are invaluable.

I highly recommend Jen's story as a must read for all.


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