U-Turn: What if You Woke Up One Morning and Realized You were Living the Wrong Life?

Bruce Grierson

The epically long title of this books reflects the equally massive amount of information in this book. A hair under 300 pages it manages to pack in a dense, and truly fascinating, amount of information. A u-turner is someone who makes a radical change in their life – often swinging 180 degrees to a full polar opposite of their former beliefs. Many of the u-turners switch on strong stances as religion – becoming Christian on a walk, leaving Evangelicalism to become an atheist writer. Some swing wildly on politics – one day an ardent Republican, the next writing screes against Bush and his ilk. Still others take a less precise tack and simply stop being how they were to become almost another person.

Interspersed with numerous true stories, Grierson talks about the trial by fire u-turners go through. Many lose their jobs, many more lose family members, friends and communities that they have been ensconced in. Despite almost certain loss and pain, the u-tuners interviewed talk about a bedrock certainty that they had to change, no matter what the cost. While many contemplate the change silently for a long time, then change suddenly. Others find a commanding voice telling them, literally out of the blue, to make a change.

Who knows who will make a silent, violent shift in their life? While most of us are, and probably always will be “happy carrots” there may come a day one we suddenly find ourselves compelled to become another, alternate version of ourselves.