So I got the opportunity to review the book “I Thought There Would Be Cake” from Katherine Welby-Roberts. The quick version is I loved it.
Here’s the longer version…
Some book titles grab my attention more than others. As a lover of cake, Gluten Free Chocolate cake to be precise, a book called “I Thought There Would Be Cake” lept out and got my attention. I have to admit, knowing Katherine’s’ name from various tweets, blogs, and online videos about living with mental health, drew me to reading this.
I feel that before I talk about the book, I should sum up what its about – yet (possibly due to the conversational and personal nature of the book) I am struggling to sum it up nicely, therefore I’m going to steal some text from the books page on Amazon.
Growing up, Katherine Welby-Roberts imagined that being an adult was one big party. But depression, anxiety and crippling self-doubt led her to alienate herself from others. To replay events and encounters as nightmares. Occasionally, to be unable to leave the house.
Aware of the cacophony of voices in her head, Katharine invites us to join her as she journeys to the depths of her soul. Here, with instinctive honesty and humour, she confronts the parts of her story that hinder her most.
Lets talk about what this book isn’t: Its not a self help book designed to try and give you answers. Where some books may ask questions, for self reflection, and give no answers. Kathryn asks, and encourages us to ask the question of ourselves, then gives an honest look at her feelings about what she’s asking.
Instead of self help, this gives an insight into someones journey. Katherine offers an insight into her struggles with feelings of low self worth, depression, and anxiety. She shares what she’s learnt on the journey, maybe there’s something here that can either help you understand your own feelings, or indeed – something else someone else may be feeling.
There are a number of topics covered here including, needing affirmation, how we measure our identity (Do we tie our identity up with what we do? What happens when what we do, fails?), replaying conversations, carrying other peoples burdens, and this is all done in a conversational style that both gets, and keeps your attention.
One of the standout chapters for me was the look at Social Media. It takes you on a discussion of the negative, verses the positive aspects of its use. She discusses that it’s a complex balancing act, and links the need for affirmation from social media to the value that someone believes about themselves. Interestingly this is not the first time I’ve seen this conclusion discussed in text about social media. Yet its still a refreshing conclusion to read, as the last “Christian” book I read on the subject seemed so anti social media.
While I don’t have depression at the moment, there is plenty here in this honest book that rings true for me. There’s talk of anxiety, self doubt, and (what I would call) reluctance of finishing a project, that I do see and feel in myself.
This book is a journey of questions, with some space for reflection, with the underlying message: that what you are, right now, is enough.
Now, where can I find some cake?
I Thought There Would Be Cake is available from Amazon and other book stores.
(Disclaimer: The above contains affiliate links. The book was provided free, but all opinions and ramblings are my own)