Permission Slips: Every Woman’s Guide to Giving Herself a Break

Permission Slips: Every Woman's Guide to Giving Herself a Break

By: Sherri Shepherd
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 2009
ISBN: 978-0446547420
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: August 2009

Why are women so hard on themselves? This is the question Sherri Shepherd, co-host of ABC’s popular talk show, The View, asks again and again in her new memoir, Permission Slips: Every Woman’s Guide To Giving Herself A Break. Using examples from her own life, Shepherd shows how women make mistakes. Instead of obsessing about mistakes, Shepherd encourages women to give themselves permission to move on, enjoy life and not dwell on mishaps.

Permission Slips consists of eight chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of Sherpherd’s life from her experiences with men, her time in jail, her struggles with diabetes to her crazy family. Every chapter consists of short vignettes, chronicling Sherpherd’s struggles as she slowly discovers herself and perhaps more importantly, forgives her failings and accepts who she truly is. After each snippet is a “permission slip,” a novel way of offering advice in a quick and succinct way. These “permission slips” range from the heartfelt – “So write yourself a permission slip to have some kind of faith…in God, in yourself. Then take a flying leap,” to the humorous – “When it comes to your children, you have permission to do everything wrong, because according to them, you did anyway.”

From relationships with men, to rediscovering God, Sherpherd is incredibly honest, detailing both her successes and failures with her trademark humor. The reader may wonder why Shepherd made numerous mistakes over and over (such as dating the wrong type of man). The answer is given repeatedly by the author who freely admits that she’s not the quickest learner.

Reading Permission Slips is like having a heart-to-heart chat with a best friend. It reads quickly, with plenty of laughs, and I suspect many woman will be able to identify with Shepherd’s experiences. Particularly refreshing were Shepherd’s various comments about body image; how few women will ever reach that goal of a size 2 body with a glowing complexion and no wrinkles. Instead, advises the author, be happy with what God gave you. She notes that she’s met many size 2 type celebrities and, without mentioning names (to her credit), states that they’re not all beautiful close up. Make-up artists can do wonderful things these days.

Quill says: This tell-all book (and it really is tell ALL) is an enjoyable look into the life of Sherri Shepherd.

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