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Unassisted: A Memoir about Self-Discovery and the Meaning of Home

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One Woman’s Journey to Find Herself Sensitive and cautious from an early age, Erin had always managed to mitigate the periodic upheavals in her life, but in a short 18 months, a whirlwind of events tip the balance that she had been able to maintain. The Great Recession, a second marriage, merging families, menopause, and undertaking an enormous role managing a chaotic assis One Woman’s Journey to Find Herself Sensitive and cautious from an early age, Erin had always managed to mitigate the periodic upheavals in her life, but in a short 18 months, a whirlwind of events tip the balance that she had been able to maintain. The Great Recession, a second marriage, merging families, menopause, and undertaking an enormous role managing a chaotic assisted living facility all combine to create a perfect storm that threatens to break her. Unassisted is Erin’s story of finding herself and finding home.


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One Woman’s Journey to Find Herself Sensitive and cautious from an early age, Erin had always managed to mitigate the periodic upheavals in her life, but in a short 18 months, a whirlwind of events tip the balance that she had been able to maintain. The Great Recession, a second marriage, merging families, menopause, and undertaking an enormous role managing a chaotic assis One Woman’s Journey to Find Herself Sensitive and cautious from an early age, Erin had always managed to mitigate the periodic upheavals in her life, but in a short 18 months, a whirlwind of events tip the balance that she had been able to maintain. The Great Recession, a second marriage, merging families, menopause, and undertaking an enormous role managing a chaotic assisted living facility all combine to create a perfect storm that threatens to break her. Unassisted is Erin’s story of finding herself and finding home.

30 review for Unassisted: A Memoir about Self-Discovery and the Meaning of Home

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    I won a Kindle copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway and for that I thank the publisher and the author for this opportunity. "Unassisted" is an unflinchingly honest memoir written by a woman who wasn't afraid to tell it all like it is. From being a very fussy, very careful, and cautious child with many quirks from an early age to a woman suddenly facing a second marriage, the job from hell, an abusive boss, combining families, and launching the kids who were ready to leave home. She had a lot I won a Kindle copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway and for that I thank the publisher and the author for this opportunity. "Unassisted" is an unflinchingly honest memoir written by a woman who wasn't afraid to tell it all like it is. From being a very fussy, very careful, and cautious child with many quirks from an early age to a woman suddenly facing a second marriage, the job from hell, an abusive boss, combining families, and launching the kids who were ready to leave home. She had a lot on her plate and then some. The stories included in this book have something that every single reader will be able to relate to, whether it's the abusive boss, crying every day before going to an unbelievably stressful and never-ending job (that resonated with me a lot), or deciding when to pull the plug on a marriage you'd hoped would be forever but turned out to be a temporary situation that you're thankful for because of the children you were blessed with. When Erin takes the job as an administrator at an assisted living facility, little does she know what she is walking into. A co-worker who is evil. Residents who require her attention every waking moment with their complaints or demands. Menopause giving her hormones the opportunity to drive her to tears and/or anger. The facility, she learns, is at the bottom tier of a group of facilities - they get the most needy, the ones with sometimes little to no family support, on up to the ones who would rather pass away than complain or ask for their needs to be met who were the ones that sometimes needed the most care which was being given to the ones who demanded it the most. It takes a toll on her both mentally and physically until she realizes life is just too short to put up with - not the residents, she cares deeply for them - but a conniving, cruel and abusive boss. It is a well-written book and gives the reader a small peek into what it takes to survive sometimes in this world. Erin is a woman with a big heart full of love and I congratulate her on writing a fantastic memoir.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie

    ***I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway*** I love memoirs/autobiographies. I do. There's just something about getting into someone's headspace and getting to see how they visualize their own story. I literally don't care who the person is, or what their story is, I just love getting in their brain. Erin Stammer wrote the story of her life around the center piece of her time working as an operations manager at an assisted living facility for low income residents. This was a terrible time for he ***I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway*** I love memoirs/autobiographies. I do. There's just something about getting into someone's headspace and getting to see how they visualize their own story. I literally don't care who the person is, or what their story is, I just love getting in their brain. Erin Stammer wrote the story of her life around the center piece of her time working as an operations manager at an assisted living facility for low income residents. This was a terrible time for her as she hated her job, struggled to find a sense of balance, and felt demoralized from the financial crash (both she and her partner lost their jobs). She connects this time period with her childhood, parenting and step-parenting, and her journey to figure out what she really wants from her career. It was interesting to get the peak into someone's life. The thing I sturggled with in this memoir...and I feel kind of terrible for even saying this...is that I don't think I like the author as a person. While she talked around it throughout the book, I got the impression that her main problem with working at the assisted living facility was that she really just doesn't like being around poor people. She thrives in an environment where everybody is, like her, privileged and polite. While she seems like a perfectly nice person, I was bothered by how little compassion she showed for the folks her job was meant to help. Then again, maybe I was bothered because I find her very relatable. I know that would be a terrible environment for me to work in (and have thus chosen a different career) because, like the author, I prefer my personal space, structure, routine, etc. I don't know and that's why I l+ike +reading memoirs. 4000 (extra symbols and numbers are from my son...who does not believe in personal space, structure, routine, etc. lol)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Bachman

    It looks like I'm going against the grain on this, so I want to preface by saying that I love memoirs and really respect anyone who has the bravery to write down their life experiences for anyone to read. However, this memoir almost never places you in the moment and so I spent the entire time feeling very detached. It reads almost clinically throughout, with life-altering events and experiences briefly name-dropped before the prose moves on to the next idea. This also results in a lot of "telli It looks like I'm going against the grain on this, so I want to preface by saying that I love memoirs and really respect anyone who has the bravery to write down their life experiences for anyone to read. However, this memoir almost never places you in the moment and so I spent the entire time feeling very detached. It reads almost clinically throughout, with life-altering events and experiences briefly name-dropped before the prose moves on to the next idea. This also results in a lot of "telling" style of narration, which takes away from the reflection that occurs organically in memoirs where the audience relives the experiences with the author. I also think this could benefit from some focus. From the summary, this was ostensibly about the author's time at an assisted living facility and the meaning of home she derived from that experience. Instead, the chapters pinball between her time at the facility and her entire family history. This made it feel disjointed and difficult to see the connections between the experiences. Won via a Giveaway in exchange for a review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    "Unassisted" is a very well-written and entertaining memoir. Erin Stammer tells of an interesting upbringing, difficult at times but also successful. At first successful as an adult in life and business; things change with in both areas and new choices are made, leading to some "self-discovery". This is all told in an entertaining, very personal and easy to read narrative. I could have read this in a day if I could. The time line jumps a bit here and there but this was by design; to show how expe "Unassisted" is a very well-written and entertaining memoir. Erin Stammer tells of an interesting upbringing, difficult at times but also successful. At first successful as an adult in life and business; things change with in both areas and new choices are made, leading to some "self-discovery". This is all told in an entertaining, very personal and easy to read narrative. I could have read this in a day if I could. The time line jumps a bit here and there but this was by design; to show how experiences led to others and affected choices. I also appreciated that this was her honest story. Nothing here to tell anyone else how-to about self discovery or the "meaning of home" or how that works, unless it does help people put their own stories in perspective. A very good read. A caveat, I worked with and remain at least a social media friend of Erin's (and understand her better now!) so I had some extra interest in this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    A memoir encompasses a life worth telling, a life worth sharing. From the opening pages I felt myself connected and drawn in by the story shared by Erin in her story, Unassisted....through failed relationships,  careers and hardships. Through the resilience and courage to carry on and move forward. It's not always you find yourself reflected in the pages you read, but when you do it really resonates.  I'm grateful to have been provided this book by the author, who I met at US Bank, where she lan A memoir encompasses a life worth telling, a life worth sharing. From the opening pages I felt myself connected and drawn in by the story shared by Erin in her story, Unassisted....through failed relationships,  careers and hardships. Through the resilience and courage to carry on and move forward. It's not always you find yourself reflected in the pages you read, but when you do it really resonates.  I'm grateful to have been provided this book by the author, who I met at US Bank, where she lands at the end of this story. Her vigor, love of life and those around her was as inspiring then as her words are here. If you are looking for a gritty read that reminds you life is tough, but you can be tougher, try Unassisted. 

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    I admire the author for being so open about herself: her childhood fears (who didn’t have some) but her acute recollections amaze me; her problems with her marriages; health; loss of her job amidst a recession; and managing a blended family. This extraordinary recall may reflect from her meticulous journaling which has finally shown her what really gives her sanity and joy. I enjoy memoirs, despair with them in their times of trouble whatever form it expresses, and rejoice in their ability to ex I admire the author for being so open about herself: her childhood fears (who didn’t have some) but her acute recollections amaze me; her problems with her marriages; health; loss of her job amidst a recession; and managing a blended family. This extraordinary recall may reflect from her meticulous journaling which has finally shown her what really gives her sanity and joy. I enjoy memoirs, despair with them in their times of trouble whatever form it expresses, and rejoice in their ability to express those moments. I received this kindle book as a Goodreads giveaway and I submit my honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine Bamlet

    I finished this one left feeling pretty neutral. The structure of the story line was a bit tough to navigate and honestly, it never really sucked me in. There were pieces of the latter section that really resonated with me though as I believe they would for anyone who has lost themselves to a soul-sucking, mentally exhausting job. I won this in a Goodreads giveaway and felt I needed to finally finish it up and so now I have.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Blair Stackhouse

    Disjointed Ramble I won a copy of this book from Goodreads. This book was a quick read but not very enjoyable. It felt like three stories (get childhood, her time at Stratford, and her current marriage) that alternated chapters rather than any kind of coherent story. I felt the author spent a lot of time implying that she is better than everyone because of her education or her ability to travel or her career. The other employees and residents seemed to be props to her.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Memoirs are one of my favorite genres but this one missed the mark for me. The author brings us through a tough time of her life where the great recession has caused her to lose her long-term job and forced her into taking a job at an assisted living facility. Presumably, that is where the title comes into play. I couldn't get into this story. It was a lot like someone skimming over parts of their life to give an overview to another person. There wasn't much depth and I didn't find the "self-dis Memoirs are one of my favorite genres but this one missed the mark for me. The author brings us through a tough time of her life where the great recession has caused her to lose her long-term job and forced her into taking a job at an assisted living facility. Presumably, that is where the title comes into play. I couldn't get into this story. It was a lot like someone skimming over parts of their life to give an overview to another person. There wasn't much depth and I didn't find the "self-discovery and the meaning of home" portion suggested in the title. Overall, just bland.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Eric Heard

    The book was very well written and told a story that was different than my own. I was amazed by the author's ability to give those small details that made the story rich and engaging. I know that it can be difficult for an author to tell their story in a honest manner and Erin was able to do this seamlessly throughout this book. Great work!!! The book was very well written and told a story that was different than my own. I was amazed by the author's ability to give those small details that made the story rich and engaging. I know that it can be difficult for an author to tell their story in a honest manner and Erin was able to do this seamlessly throughout this book. Great work!!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kayo

    Loved hearing about authors horror stories about her job. Nice book. Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kurt Garbe

    Truly a baring of the soul about entering middle age, and how reality somehow was not as one planned. Erin explores the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of moving through life: children, relationships, career, and becoming comfortable in one's body. Truly a baring of the soul about entering middle age, and how reality somehow was not as one planned. Erin explores the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of moving through life: children, relationships, career, and becoming comfortable in one's body.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Angela Randall

    Good book I'm not much into reading memoirs but this book was actually pretty good. Well written.I think that people like reading this book. Good book I'm not much into reading memoirs but this book was actually pretty good. Well written.I think that people like reading this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pauline Culley

    Interesting read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Fatima Tarhuni

    I won this copy from a goodreads giveaway. Coming from Portland a lot of the locations felt familiar. I would know what the neighborhood dynamics looks like based off the area mentioned, along with all its history. It made the book harder to separate my experiences in the metro area from what I was reading. I myself am not a fan of writing with disjointed timeline’, even though it is intentional for connecting life experiences. It made it harder for me to know what time in the author’s life I wa I won this copy from a goodreads giveaway. Coming from Portland a lot of the locations felt familiar. I would know what the neighborhood dynamics looks like based off the area mentioned, along with all its history. It made the book harder to separate my experiences in the metro area from what I was reading. I myself am not a fan of writing with disjointed timeline’, even though it is intentional for connecting life experiences. It made it harder for me to know what time in the author’s life I was reading. Look up Trigger warnings for what you my need to guard your self from. I my self just having a recent traumatic birth some of the book felt triggered. That being said as with most memoirs there is a lot of triggers to be aware of when reading this book. This is a well written book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Abbie Greene

    I won this book through a giveaway. I enjoyed reading this Memoir and I found it insightful. However, I believe the author used highbrow diction for no reason other than to make herself sound more intelligent. Without this the book would have been 5 stars.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christine Hensley

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dosoem

  19. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Burns

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katdarling Darling

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ricole

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shrugging Atlas

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anne

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  26. 5 out of 5

    Vapafe

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Levine

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura Lynn

  30. 4 out of 5

    Liz Angelos

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