Reviews for Talking To My Angels

by Melissa Etheridge

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

New Age–tinged memoir by lesbian rock icon Etheridge, recounting the highs and lows of a long career. To paraphrase French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, “I am a spiritual being having a human experience,” writes Etheridge. She’s also a survivor of many a rough patch, from seeking the approval of an emotionally distant mother who considered her queer identity a “psychological illness” to kicking cancer and enduring a couple of very ugly breakups—and, worst of all, the death of a son to a fentanyl overdose. Etheridge’s book of revelations begins on a heady note, her mind on a hard-earned vacation courtesy of a whole bunch of pot-laced cookies. She had an epiphany that “love is within us and all around us” and that maybe she didn’t have to try so hard. Still, for all the past-life-regressing and consultations of astrological charts, the author seems to be a get-it-done, practical-minded Midwesterner with no end to her work ethic. Would-be songwriters stand to learn quite a bit from studying her process as well as the pointers from those who taught her—e.g., a jazz guitarist who instructed, “Doesn’t matter what notes you play. Just never go out of time.” It took a while for Etheridge to hit the big time, but she amassed enough material over years of hard work that she could field an at-home pandemic concert series every night for a month without repeating herself. Another lesson she discusses is the importance of connecting with one’s spiritual being, “assisted, of course, by ingesting a lot of cannabis.” On that note, Etheridge serves up a meaningful, even helpful elaboration of Don Miguel Ruiz’s famed “four agreements,” the last of which should form the heart of anyone’s life practices: “Just do your best, always.” A must for Etheridge fans, with plenty of lessons for striving musicians. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.