The Way Gargoyles Play by Andrea Britt Cadelli is a moving and comprehensive work of self-help about overcoming personal suffering and achieving happiness. After her younger brother died, Cadelli found herself in a spiral of suffering, and here she tells tale of how she lifted herself out of the cycle. The book also includes Cadelli’s evocative poetry covering many of these same themes.
Cadelli talks passionately and eloquently about finding happiness in an oftentimes depressing world. One doesn’t have to be a depressive to find modern life daunting, and when you add real personal trauma to the mix, as Cadelli herself has experienced, one must have some sort of path of self-awareness and coping mechanism to deal with life’s hardships. Far from seeming like a tome for those who need to get over trauma, this book is a handbook on happiness for everyone.
There are a lot of self-help manuals that cover these sorts of issues, so it can be hard to find the best among the lot, but The Way Gargoyles Play is truly different. Part memoir, she calls her life experience to attention to serve as an example. Everyone’s personal issues may be different in some regard, but there are commonalities that do bind as all.
As Cadelli is a poet, she tackles the issues of self-negation and self-empowerment with a poet’s eye. This isn’t to say her writing is overly purple, but the book is written with a sense of vulnerability and openness that you’ll also find in good poetry – which, it should be said, is the case for her poetry as well. Strikingly, she also writes with the eye of scientist, making this a fully-realized and useful work that should help people in their daily lives.