This was so good!
I’ve been listening to Janet Mock’s Surpassing Certainty over the past day, and I found any spare moment to press play. This is her second biography and I need her to keep living her life, because her memories make the best stories. I know, I sound like an insufferable gossip feeding off other people’s lives, but I don’t just watch anyone, I watch the interesting ones, and Mock is a very interesting one.
I loved Mock’s first bio, Redefining Realness, but I adored Surpassing Certainty. I connected with this one more, since it felt more personal and revealing. It covers a shorter span in Mock’s life and a pivotal relationship that spanned the majority of her twenties, a relationship that in many ways helped free her to be who she is today. It was compelling, enlightening, heartbreaking, and uplifting.
As with her previous book, Mock shows the reader all sides of herself, but I think unlike her first book, we also get to see how her journey to happiness and self-fulfillment left a mark on the people in her life, particularly one. It’s this aspect that had me crying during the book’s final chapters. Janet Mock is strong and resilient, but she’s also self-absorbed and selfish. Her strengths are also flaws, and like us all, she had to make difficult choices about how much of herself to give to people, how much to bend before she started to take the form of someone she didn’t recognize.
In this memoir, Janet meets a love of her life, she graduates college and struggles to realize her dreams and love the man who showed her unconditional acceptance and support, but who may not fit in with the image of the future she has for herself. This memoir is a coming-of-age story in many ways like hundreds that have been told before, while being unique and revealing a perspective that’s often unperceived.
I don’t read a lot of biographies, but if I can find more like this one, then I’ll start reading more. I love reading novels, and Surpassing Certainty felt like one. It felt like a coming-of-age fiction, romance, chic-lit, whatever. The way Mock narrates it (both in print and via audio) is intimate and compelling, and I felt like I was taking her journey, as opposed to simply being told about it. I recommend you take the journey as well.
Book InfoSurpassing Certainty by Janet Mock
Format: Hardcover, Audiobook
Source: Audible, Barnes and Noble
Buy on Amazon, Buy on B&N, Buy on iBooks
Riveting, rousing, and utterly real, Surpassing Certainty is a portrait of a young woman searching for her purpose and place in the world—without a road map to guide her.
The journey begins a few months before her twentieth birthday. Janet Mock is adjusting to her days as a first-generation college student at the University of Hawaii and her nights as a dancer at a strip club. Finally content in her body, she vacillates between flaunting and concealing herself as she navigates dating and disclosure, sex and intimacy, and most important, letting herself be truly seen. Under the neon lights of Club Nu, Janet meets Troy, a yeoman stationed at Pearl Harbor naval base, who becomes her first. The pleasures and perils of their union serve as a backdrop for Janet’s progression through her early twenties with all the universal growing pains—falling in and out of love, living away from home, and figuring out what she wants to do with her life.