The memoir centres on Rookard’s journey of self-discovery and shines a bright light on the realities of growing up in the inner city as the child of an alcoholic mother with the odds stacked against her. Unearthing a real blend of life experiences that include her abuse and teenage imprisonment, Rookard’s memoir is raw, explosive, and filled with losses, failures, triumphs, and growth. Unique in her approach, Rookard’s book not only unfolds her own life experiences as a memoir, but falls firmly on to the “self-help” bookshelves as a guide for women to overcome and thrive complete with affirmations, mindset techniques and information on toxic relationships, abuse, parental roles and more.
“It’s 3 a.m. and despite being just 8 years old, I am still up. To other children my age, that might have sounded cool, but I wasn’t other children. I am 8-year-old Mesha Rookard, born in New Brunswick, New Jersey to an alcoholic mother and an ex-drug addict father, and I am still up. When my mother was drinking, I assumed the role of vacillating between having no power at all and having way too much, as my mom fell in and out of normal functioning. On this particular night, I had no power at all. Sitting on the sofa at a friend of my mom’s, I looked around the table in front of me sprawling with empty liquor bottles, beer cans, cigarette butts, and cards. I scanned the room of substance and drug-dependent adults around me laughing and joking, as addicts always do when they are surrounded by the vices that they love the most. Time evaporates as quickly as a bottle of liquor is opened, as they lose themselves to their infatuation.”
Written in the heart of 2020’s Black Lives Matter movement, Rookard sheds light on the complexities of growing up in 1990’s Black America, and details how she thrived in spite of the odds.
“All at once Incendiary, real, endearing and poignant, here is a deeply felt, thought-provoking and heart-rendering chronicle on race, sex, identity, American culture and the great capacity of hope in a year when Black voices need to be heard the most. Mesha’s is a story that must be heard.” -Daniella Maison, Editor.
Rookard, who is looking forward to returning to New Jersey for book signings in 2021, is keen to inspire and impact lives by taking the huge step of revealing her own truths, good and bad, as a testimony to the power of self-belief. Already being hailed as “a powerful story of healing and redemption” by readers, Inhale, Exhale, Repeat is an edifying reflection on harnessing inner strength, refusing to be destroyed by the system, breaking down boundaries, and understanding the relationships that define you.
“I was born into the aftermath of the same climate that created Black Lives Matter; police brutality, murder, and riots had rocked the projects. The reason I was more likely to go to prison, take drugs, and drop out of school was not by accident, it was by design. I fulfilled most of what racist America had in store for me. The difference is I broke the cycle because I no longer am. Like many survivors, I took my destiny into my own hands starting with my mental health.
Our voices matter. The beauty of being healed is that we can speak up and out and empower each other to do the same. If we can build up each other and the next generation then stories like mine won’t need to be told.”
Inhale, Exhale, Repeat is available now on Barnes & Noble, Amazon Bookstore, and The Book Patch.
About Mesha Rookard
Mesha Rookard is a MS/HS English teacher who has taught in countries all over the world on her path to self-discovery, including in Qatar and Africa. As the author of a successful children’s empowerment book, “What The Heck Is Happening?”, Mesha has dedicated much of her career to investing in the wellbeing and positive identity of the next generation. As an author, Mesha has a uniquely honest voice that shines through in her newest offering, memoir Inhale, Exhale, Repeat: A Raw Memoir of One Woman’s Journey to Self-Discovery, which focuses on the importance of inner-strength and self-belief through telling the true personal story of her life being raised in the projects and low-income areas of New Jersey as the child of an alcoholic mother. Now a successful entrepreneur, author, educator, and motivator, Mesha reflects on her flaws, failures, growth, and triumphs as she seeks to continue to empower and inspire with her highly anticipated poignantly told self-help memoir.
Daniella Maison BA (hons) MA