The Complicated Heart by Sarah Mae is a very easy read about some very hard topics and life events. Sarah Mae shares her journey of breaking as a kid and into young adulthood, being found by Jesus, and seeking healing. Her healing involved staying in a relationship with her mom who struggled with addiction and had been a large part of Sarah’s deep brokenness. Sarah shares in a simple way that makes this memoir very attainable even for older teens. There are trigger topics in this book, but I feel like she handled them gently and with tact.
I did want more processing and sharing of the journey towards healing, but Sarah Mae has said she wanted to be able to hand this book to anyone so she kept it basic. There are so many great lines, that just one on its own elicits thought and challenges the reader. The addition of some of her mom’s journal entries at each step made the memoir fuller, and was helpful to me personally as someone who loves many that struggle with addiction and/or mental illness. Getting to peak into her mom’s heart and mind was beneficial, along with watching Sarah Mae’s journeying through untangling the parts that had become deeply rooted in herself also.
I do think that many who are walking this journey of deep brokenness from a parent, but desiring healing and hope would benefit from reading Sarah’s story. I also felt that it was insightful for people journeying with both recovering addicts, and/or with kids and teens that have parents who struggle. As a reader I wanted more of the story and more processing, but I think there is enough value in this book that warrants a reading. If you share parts of her story, I think it will encourage you with hope and healing, if you cannot relate to her story, it will encourage you and give you compassion as you encounter and love others who may have been through similar life challenges.
The back of the book has very useful appendices to help someone who wants to begin walking towards forgiveness and healing. Also Sarah Mae has been making the podcast rounds where she is adding more of the journey and helpful connections to hope and healing. https://www.sarahmae.com/