Book Reviews

The House That Joy Built by Holly Ringland

Holly Ringland is the author of two of my favourite books: The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart and The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding. It is her first non-fiction book, exploring creativity and what stops us following our creative dreams.

Ringland uses her own rocky road to writing her first novel as an example of how our creativity can be sabotaged by external, and internal factors. The nine chapters discuss the negative influences and their kryptonite! For example: Fear + Play; Inner Critic + Inner Fan and Imposter Syndrome + You Belong Here. Each chapter finishes with some prompts that will lead the reader to explore more deeply, if they wish.

My copy of this book is littered with post-it notes. Ringland gives so many useful tips and tricks to move in the direction we truly want to go. She is not a Pollyanna about choosing to be creative, stating that it can be a very challenging journey. But overcoming these roadblocks will ultimately lead to a life lived with more joy.

This book is not just for reader in the creative arts, but for everyone who yearns to access their inner well of creativity and mine its resources.

Holly’s enthusiasm and zest for life is contagious, and the book constantly reinforces her primary message: you are allowed to experience joy as an integral part of your life.

The House that Joy Built does exactly what it’s sub-heading claims: it empowers the reader to explore the pleasure and power of giving themselves permission to create – with joy.

Reviewed by Gaby Meares
Murder on a Monday Reading Group

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The House That Joy Built by Holly Ringland

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