In our world, Jessica Taylor-Bearman has celebrity status. She’s got working the crowd down to a fine art – without ever filling up our lives with vapid dross or over-madeup ‘selfie’ reflections.
Jessica deals with the sort of domestic humdrum and emotional crises we all know in the brilliant third volume of her memoirs, “A Girl Beyond Closed Doors” (Hashtag Press, 2023).
Now the mother of two little children and with a heart-throb of a husband, the words flow off the page as she takes us on a tour of her life from the birth of her first baby Felicity in 2019 to the family’s new home in Essex – while always half-expecting the ‘M.E. Monster' to show up on her doorstep at any time.
There are highlights like receiving The People’s Book prize for her first memoir, socially distanced and tucked away at home, and then the Buckingham Palace garden party, to which she was invited as founder of her own ‘Share a Star’ charity and where she went off piste in the sweetest way with The Queen. All because she missed out on her cream tea!
But lowlights there are a’plenty and a lot of laughs, and it’s these that keep us turning the pages! They’re the stuff of everyday life of someone with a disability who has to run a bustling household and keep hospital appointments while trying to keep the Monster at bay.
It’s tough and it’s rough but, for someone who as a teenager had to spend years in a hospital bed unable to lift so much as a finger for herself, this is what triumph looks like! The book looks adversity in the face and stares it down. It's already been nominated for next year's People's Book Prize for Non-Fiction.
Main picture show Jessica enjoying time out with baby Felicity.