Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life by Lorraine Ash | A Review

Are you living a life of quiet desperation? Questioning what it means to succeed? Wondering if your efforts matter? In this uplifting memoir, Lorraine Ash uses her own life experiences to explore inner landscapes where the seeds of divine healing and insight reside. These are the landscapes on which we create our own meaning and find the resiliency to thrive in a changing and challenging world.

(Image and synopsis via Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Lorraine Ash shares courageously the story of her greatest loss: the stillbirth of her daughter, Victoria. I cannot begin to know what a loss, such as losing a child before life is breathed into it, does to one’s soul.

A beautifully written memoir takes us along with its author to explore the search for meaning after a loss of this proportion.

As I traveled along learning more about Lorraine’s journey, I began to realize there were still hurts and pains within me from childhood abuses. While combing through her words, I began to realize what I could do with those old abuses and scars.

One particular quote sticks in my mind and heart and will stay with me:

Some people scream out our insignificance … but it is we who choose to believe it.

These words jumped from the screen of my Kindle and into my being with such force it was as if they belonged to me all along. After rereading them a few times, I realized Lorraine’s words had given me permission to toss aside all the hurtful words flung at me as a child. A very freeing experience! (Thank you, Lorraine.)

As I continued to read, I felt as if Lorraine was a friend, a sister, a mentor of sorts. Life never gave her the gift of motherhood, but I see in her memoir that the qualities of mothering are within her and her nurturing reaches into the world via her words and her skillful usage of them.

Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances and/or your pain, reading Self and Soul will bring you inner peace, a new outlook on life, and perhaps even a moment of healing energy which allows you to move on with embracing life as it transforms with each new experience. to be.

I highly recommend Lorraine’s memoir to anyone interested in memoir, coping and healing following loss, and transforming life into a rich and bountiful experience.

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book from WOW! Women on Writingas part of Lorraine’s book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed are solely my own.

Meet the Author:

Lorraine Ash, MA, is the author of “Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life” (Cape House Books, 2012) and “Life Touches Life: A Mother’s Story of Stillbirth and Healing” (NewSage Press, 2004). Both are spiritual memoirs, an old but evolving genre she believes in as a catalyst for personal healing and transformation and social change.

“We each were born as a character into a large family and cultural story,” she said, “and not always in the roles we would have chosen for ourselves. Then fate takes us in unexpected directions. Writing spiritual memoir is a way to weave our outer and inner lives to create meaning and trace and direct our evolving identities over time, including that timeless core in each of us called the soul.”

What does all that have to do with social change? Nothing helps the human race see and understand itself more than such honest witnessing in every corner of the human experience. There is no taboo territory in autobiographical writing, which the author William Dean Howells once called “the most democratic province in the republic of letters.”

In her workshops and writing retreats Lorraine fuses rigorous literary techniques with a wide range of spiritual and philosophical thought. Participants learn to find their strongest writing voice, structure their stories in compelling ways, and see their lives from surprising and useful new angles. All these goals are achieved in an informal backdrop of serenity and relaxation. Why? Because gracious contemplation is a friend to creativity. The ultimate achievement always is for the writer to lead herself, and her readers, to some spiritual truth.

Connect with Lorraine here:



Twitter: @LorraineVAsh


Book Details:
Publisher: Cape House Books
Published: October 20, 2012
Paperback and e-book available
ISBN-10: 1939129001
ISBN-13: 978-1939129000

Where to buy Self and Soul:

Paperback edition from CreateSpace (Publisher’s fulfillment partner—the fastest and most author-friendly way to buy!)

Paperback and Kindle from

Buy iBooks edition from iTunes

Buy Nook edition from Barnes&Noble

Buy Kobo edition

Also available for other popular ebook readers, or through your favorite bookstore! Audiobook edition coming August 15, 2014 at,, and the iTunes store.

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9 thoughts on “Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life by Lorraine Ash | A Review

  1. I hardly know how to respond to this fantastic thread. Sherrey, thank you for a thoughtful and deeply satisfying review. Both you and Renee offer thoughts about mothering qualities that are a mirror to me. Marie and Ceil, happy to meet you!

    1. Lorraine, I’m glad you were pleased with the review. I felt the nurturing and mother quality that came through your writing is a characteristic few are able to achieve in their writing. Need I say I’m jealous? Seriously, it is beautiful.
      I’ll be emailing you about a return guest post on a topic of your choice. 🙂

  2. Sherrey,
    I fell in love with you and your works without having even read your own memoir yet. I just can’t wait. In the meantime, I am so impatient to get a copy of Lorraine’s work. You can also guess how frightful my hairs are right now as September 9th approaches when you review mine. Anyway, I am proud to tell you that inspired by you, I ventured into book reviews too and many seem to like my modest work. Thank you so much Sherrey and all the best.

    1. Marie Abanga! You are such a delightful creature, and I know nothing about any frightful hairs on your head. I am looking forward to your guest post on the 4th and the review on the 9th. I am humbled that you say I inspired you to do anything. You are an amazing woman in your own right. I’ll be emailing you later today so watch your inbox!

  3. Hi Sherrey! I have never heard of this author, thank you for introducing me to her through your review. It’s so wonderful to read an author who touches you so deeply…what a great read for you! It takes a lot of fortitude to lay out your feelings for others to read, and it sounds like Lorraine does it very well.
    Great review!

    1. Ceil, welcome to my site! I’m happy to be the one to introduce you to Lorraine. I find her writing to be so soothing and comforting despite the tragedy of her story. I’m hoping you also read the guest post she wrote on ancestral patterns in determining who we are. Glad you visited and hope to see you here again. Looking forward to getting to know you better.

  4. Sherrey–It’s funny you should mention Lorraine’s inherent qualities of motherhood because I too felt the same thing both while reading her book and in all my conversations with her! I truly think she found her own calling of “motherhood” as both an author and writing coach, which is a gift to us all.
    Thank you again for hosting her on this blog tour.

    1. Renee, I am constantly amazed at the couples who aren’t blessed with babies, for one reason or another, and the amazing gifts of nurturing they carry with them daily. Lorraine allows those nurturing qualities to flow through her writing like the simple of act of rain drops sliding down a glass windowpane. Slowly and steadily while reading you almost feel the warmth of hugs and compassion in her sharing of her truth. Thanks to you and WOW! for the opportunity to participate twice in Lorraine’s tour.

  5. Reblogged this on Sowing Seeds of Grace and commented:
    Today on my writing blog I’m reviewing Self and Soul: Creating a Meaningful Life, a memoir by Lorraine Ash. Lorraine tells her story of transformation following loss and grief. Please come visit us and read about Lorraine’s book.

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