Stronger by Poorna Bell Book Review

Since reading Chase the Rainbow in 2018, I’ve loved Poorna’s writing. A heartbreaking story of her late husband’s suicide. I loved it so much that in April 2019, despite my vacation, I read a very large hardcover copy of her second memoir In Search of Silence while vacationing with my sister at Lake Atitlan with somewhat limited luggage space. A major voice in mental health, Poorna has been making waves in the weightlifting world more recently. When I saw her coming out with a new book exploring both her own and society’s relationship between mental and physical strength, I asked your publicist to send me a copy in Australia and soon found myself deep between the pages.

Stronger book review

Stronger is insightful and inspiring read that combines memoirs with social commentary and statistics about strength. It is both an account of Poorna’s own path to becoming stronger physically and mentally after her late husband’s suicide, as well as an astute study of the strength of women and society’s perception – and understanding – of it.

Stronger is a book that is empowered, inclusive, and incredibly accessible. It is about women’s relationships with strength, sanity, and exercise. It was written using Poorna’s signature, honest and authentic style. Exploring everything from privilege to personal experience to the practical side of how women can get physically fit, Stronger interweaves science with intimate anecdotes to deliver an important book that anyone interested in health – be it spiritual – should read or physically.

I liked Poorna’s raw honesty throughout the book – which tackled everything from suicide to singledom – and the extensive research she did to write the book is evident. Stronger is a thought-provoking book that will undoubtedly make its readers think twice about their own perspective and relationship with strength. It encourages its readers not only to find their inner strength, but also to take a journey towards body positivity.

Stronger by Poorna Bell summary

If you are the girl, the woman who feels like you are never enough, that she will never be so strong, so good and capable, I am here to tell you that you are enough. I’m here to tell you that while it shouldn’t have been your burden, you can write a different story.

Stronger will change what you think you know about strength and, most importantly, will enable you to go on your own journey to find out what strength looks like to you.

Poorna Bell is a competitive amateur power lifter who can lift more than double her own body weight. She is perfectly positioned to start a crucial conversation about women’s strength and fitness that has nothing to do with weight loss. In Stronger, she questions the ideas we were taught as girls and explores how we can all use our reservoir of inner strength to make ourselves our strongest selves, mentally and physically. Describing weightlifting after her husband’s death, she shows how discovering her own strength helped her find the confidence that physical activity can increase – the confidence that has helped men succeed for centuries – and that women can find too .

On these pages Poorna tells not only her own story, but also that of a number of women and examines the intersections of race, age and social background. Part Memoir, Part Manifesto, Stronger explodes old-fashioned notions and long-held beliefs about becoming strong and examines the relationship between mental and physical strength.

Whether you enjoy weightlifting, running, swimming, yoga, or don’t consider yourself athletic at all, Poorna shows how finding strength can work for you, regardless of your age, ability, or background.

Pre-order Stronger at Book Depository, Waterstones, Amazon or Amazon AU.

further reading

I liked this article on stylist about how weight training helped Poorna find inner strength after her husband’s suicide.

Poorna Bell Author Bio

Poorna is an award-winning fifteen year old freelance journalist and digital editor who previously worked as UK Editor-in-Chief and Global Lifestyle Head for HuffPost. She is a freelancer for The Times, The i Paper, Grazia, The Guardian, Red Magazine and a stylist, among others. She is the author of Stronger. Poorna is a seasoned speaker at health summits, corporate and consumer events such as Twitter, Ad Week, NHS and Oath. She has also spoken on Channel 5, ITV and BBC News, as well as regularly on TalkRadio and BBC 5 Live.

More Poorna Bell books

Poorna Bell has also written Chase The Rainbow and In Search of Silence.

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