By: Sarah Jolicoeur
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: January 4, 2024
Review Date: January 29, 2024
Writer Sarah Jolicoeur has created a memoir that will evoke an array of feelings, from curiosity and enchantment to enlightenment, as she details her deeply personal experience of shared love based on acceptance of life’s often unwritten rules in her debut work, Journey to Paradise: A Memoir.
Jolicoeur’s parents raised her and her two sisters with discipline and structure. In high school, Sarah lost her virginity in a brief encounter with an older boy and once she graduated, she moved in with another girl and began to study, work, and party. She soon met someone she would marry – what Jolicoeur depicts as “the typical gay-girl-meets-straight-girl-at-work lesbian love story.” One early challenge for the couple was the difficulty in finding a pleasant venue for their same-sex wedding; there was tension with the author’s parents concerning the relationship; and the new wife, though an alluring companion, was not prepared to be faithful. After seven years, both knew it was time to move on.
Jolicoeur set a serious goal – physical fitness involving weight loss. It was at her gym that she met Lovie -the man who would change her life. Tall, handsome, a great talker, Lovie soon admitted her into his realm of what she learned, over the years, to accept and fully appreciate – the complex web known as polyamory. Lovie had a wife, Pandora, and made it clear from the start that he was not the monogamous male that many women seek. To make a life with him, she must accept Pandora – and others – into a multi-coupling universe. This became for the author a lifestyle, a love-style that she gradually contentedly accepted. Her book opens with the declaration that her story is one that once would have shocked her, then follows this declaration with an almost minute-to-minute chronology of her struggle for self-esteem, her innate quest for adventure, and the loves she still shares.
Jolicoeur has developed skills as a Corporate Life Coach, giving her scope for outreach to others who may face some of the situations she has encountered. Her composition, in addition to revealing her undeniable writing talent, attracts for its array of honest disclosure, enjoyable humor, painful distress, and genuine affection. She describes her pairing with Lovie now as a “Poly and Swinging lifestyle,” and it is apparent that she wishes to convey her polyamorous explorations to a wide, general audience.
Quill says: Jolicoeur’s unusual path, set forth in this engaging memoir, can provide guidance and hope to others who long to achieve what she has accepted and embraced – a unique, daring, and love-imbued lifestyle.