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Book Review: Nothing but the Truth, A Memoir, by Marie Henein


When I first noticed this book release on LinkedIn, I was immediately intrigued, although, at the time, I had 3 books on my TBR which I had intended to take on holiday. Sorry to say the word holiday since many of you have yet to have the post-pandemic holiday, but I did it, and I loved it!

In fact, I was so excited about my holiday that I completely forgot my anticipated reading material. By the second day in, I was stressed about the book situation – so my daughter suggested I should load one on my iPad and showed me how. Who knew it was so easy! I guess I should have known just having completed our first WEL e-blog book but I digress.

My next dilemma became-what to load-I like biographies/autobiographies and, well, not much else unless a book written by anyone who is extremely funny…. I will not mention Russell Brand’s “My Booky Wooky”…..

Staying on point, Sammi said, why not read the book that you just sent me a link to written by that kick *%# lawyer you like (at this moment I should say, I have never actually met Marie Henein). Sam described my interest in Marie Henein’s book as similar to when a celebrity spots one of their own personal idols on a red carpet and has a fangirl moment (like Mark Ruffalo spotting Paul Rudd at the 2014 Comic Con). Ok, so it’s not exactly like that but I accepted her desire to poke fun at me. In any event, we downloaded it, she from England and me from the beach! Sam and I have this thing about reading. I read every day for my job and so when I am on holiday, I would rather look at pictures in magazines and read as little as possible. She on the other hand has already read over 100 books since January. I accept that I cannot compete. I downloaded the book and could not put it down. I read it in a day. I loved it. I made a pact with the kid that if she would read this next, I would read one of her fiction favourites and then we could have a debrief – our own little book club. I did it because I really want to talk about the book with her, a compromise for me since I am emphatically not a fiction fan! Sam was born negotiating, so I took a page out of her play book! Fyi – no review forthcoming of that other book – the book of the pact.

Ok, now for the book, I bookmarked favourite pages. I will snapshot some of my favourites. I liked the memoir because it was genuine, intensely personal, insightful, and funny. I could relate so thoroughly to the story she decided to tell, even though my own story is obviously different. I felt that so many experiences, observations, and insights I could identify with – so much so that I caught myself laughing out loud several times.

I was amazed with the Marie’s recall of so much detail from early childhood years and it forced me to think through mine. I feel like so many memories of mine are not informed by actual memories but perhaps by pictures. Anyway, her rendition of experiences got me thinking about parents, becoming a parent, family, role models within families and how for better or worse, that sets the stage for the journey one travels in life. Our resilience, endurance, tolerance, strength, drive, behaviour, and goals-everything informed by our experiences.

I found the stories of Marie’s Teta (grandmother) especially engaging. Marie’s description of placing her Teta in a home and the devastation on her family members as a result. This is something I have personally experienced and so many of my clients describe this to me regularly. It was an outpouring of observation and acceptance which was real, painful, and compassionate.

Marie shared with the reader, a refreshing straight up introspective look at her life and her career with humility and candour, exposing herself. Marie’s book is incredibly insightful, touching on family, loss, life, suffering, tragedy, politics, the law, the criminal justice system, being a female lawyer, a female leader, on bias, racism, prejudices, influencers, why she became a criminal defence lawyer and how she persevered and learned her way to the top of her game -her chosen career and no less importantly, just how passionate she is about what she does and why she does it! I laughed over Martha Stewart, TikTok, meditation, yoga and cottages! I cannot now remember if she mentions golf. I imagine however what her take on golf would be! I even laughed about the way she described not being able to turn off being a lawyer as a parent – something Sammi has incessantly accused me of from a precocious young age.

All I have left to say is read this book! I had so much fun. Thank You Marie Henein.


As a final point, I signed up for the OBA Book Club this past week to participate in a chat about this wonderful reflection but as a sick post-holiday twist of fate (recall?….. the Kim Effect ?) I got food poisoning post last run on the beach from a fish taco and landed myself in bed all week sick as sick can be!


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