Kenna’s life and my facade

Ellie McDowell

More stories from Ellie McDowell

It takes a village
April 19, 2023

My copy of Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

My friend Anna hooked me on Colleen Hoover with one of her most popular books: It Ends with Us. On January 18th, I caught news of a new release from Hoover. I knew I had to get my hands on the book.

So I did just that. I made the trip to Barnes and Noble to get a book I didn’t even know if I would enjoy: Reminders of Him.

If I’m being honest, I didn’t even know what the book was about. I heard Hoover released something, and I wanted to read it. I’m happy I did because this book made me think really hard about what I’ve been doing with my own life.

The main character, Kenna Rowan, has a pretty messed up life. She just got out of jail and is fighting for custody of a girl she had during her time imprisoned.

The questions about my own life are not to say I have been to jail or had a kid, because neither of those is a fact. They’re more about whether or not I’m proud of the life I’ve lived to this point.

Kenna really struggles with how she’s lived and how hard it’s been on people around her, but I also wonder if she struggles with this for a more selfish reason. She wants her daughter back, but she can’t even get close enough to see her. It made me wonder if I do things for the right reasons.

You see, Kenna believes she is doing what she is doing for her daughter’s sake. She returns to a town that she is not welcome in and tries to get close to a family that doesn’t want her around. She does all of this because of the belief that this is good for her daughter—the belief that her daughter wants to get to know her and should get to know her. When Kenna’s situation is looked at from an outside perspective, that belief is questionable.

The way Kenna goes about her desire to see her daughter is completely wrong. At first, she lies her way into her daughter’s life. It doesn’t get that far because people started to see through her facade, but she genuinely believes this is the right way to go about it. It had me thinking about the facades I put up.

I don’t think I necessarily lie to get what I want, but I know I put up fronts that make me into a different person than I truly am.

I don’t think I necessarily lie to get what I want, but I know I put up fronts that make me into a different person than I truly am. I have built up internal walls to keep the parts of me I don’t like hidden away. The difference between what I am doing with my facade and what Kenna did with hers is the fact that I’m not doing it to get ahead—yet, in a way, I kind of am.

I hide who I truly am to be accepted into a society that thinks it’s important to fit into a mold. I have fallen into patterns of insanity just to fit in. This is kind of similar to Kenna. She does everything in her power to see her little girl, and she has no idea how that will turn out. It’s the same for me in my life. I try so hard to be liked, but in the end, I don’t know how that’s going to turn out. Will I be a person I am proud of? Will I have lived a life I was proud of? Probably not. But is it worth it? That is also probably a no.

Reminders of Him was a good reminder for me. It has reminded me that I don’t have any reason to put up these walls. Whether or not this facade works out for Kenna, it isn’t the way to go about the situation at all, nor is it the way for me.