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The Lullaby Illusion: A Journey of Awakening

(Journeys #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,336 ratings  ·  39 reviews
The Lullaby Illusion details the harrowing personal journey of a young American woman facing seemingly insurmountable situations while living in the Middle East and Europe.

After miscarriages and the loss of a child in childbirth on the island of Cyprus, Susan seeks solace by creating art, and recording her vivid dreams. Through difficult life changes -- Cyprus's bloody cou
Paperback, 358 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Peel Productions (first published April 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  1,336 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Fran Macilvey
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'The Lullaby Illusion' by Susan Joyce

I initially swithered a bit about this book, unsure. Swither is a Scots word, meaning, to move this way and that. But I swither no more! Susan's adventures would be great as a swashbuckler movie, though I doubt that anyone would really believe them. How any one woman can get into so many scrapes, get entangled with shady characters, spies, war, high seas adventures and the like, and come out of them and thrive, makes absorbing reading.

In the course of being
Beth Haslam
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This skilfully written memoir is a complex web containing threads of intrigue, life threatening incidents and moments of great poignancy and humour.

Susan Joyce begins by telling of her marriage to a man who she suspects might be leading a double life – one that is filled with mystery and sinister purpose. She is young and naïve and copes with his strange behaviour, but is deeply disturbed by his secrecy.

His job causes them to move locations, one of which is to Cyprus. Susan describes the beauty
Brigid Gallagher
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The reader is transported to the 1974 invasion of Cyprus where Susan and her husband Charles are caught in crossfire, as they and their friends take refuge in a UN camp, and eventually flee to safety. However, before boarding HMS Hermes, they witness the horrific devastation of war on their former neighbours and their homes...
The author realizes that the vivid dreams she has of her husband leading a double life are indeed true, and they eventually divorce. I felt so sad for her having suffered a
Cherie Magnus
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Born in Los Angeles, children's book author Susan Joyce is a creative dreamer and traveler, who shares the amazing story of her adventurous life in her new memoir.

Peopled with many characters, some famous--there's even an Elvis sighting--this memoir recounts the terrifying events of a military coup and Turkish invasion in Cyprus in 1974 on the foreigners and expats who were stranded there.

What would it be like to be caught in the middle of a war that wasn't even yours? Joyce had a beautiful life
John Searancke
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I confess to never having read a book quite like this before. It felt ever so slightly disjointed until I learned the rhythm and went along with the flow and storyline. And what a story Susan has to tell! Dreams and illusions there are aplenty, woven into the fabric of the tale, so that it almost comes alive in your hands. I learned so much of her personal tragedy in the Cyprus crisis (I myself was 31 at the time) and her life both before and afterwards. By the time that the Epilogue came around ...more
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There is a saying "the world is your oyster", suggesting the person is free to take any opportunity they choose, that life has to offer. Susan Joyce fully embraces the life opportunities that are presented to her. Without giving anything away, it is only the author’s belief in herself, and her ability to trust and act on her intuitive feelings that carries her through the great, the good, the sad, the fearful, the adverse and the indifferent. Would she have ever embarked on this journey had she ...more
Jayne Hyatt
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I know Susan Joyce’s memoir, THE LULLABY ILLUSION, is non-fiction, yet it reads like fiction -- delivering all the tension and thrills one expects from a suspense novel. In fact, with the way it portrays the cold war era of the 1970s, along with its vivid descriptions of traveling through Europe and the Middle East, it reminded me of a Helen MacInnes cold war era suspense novel. The places, people and situations in this book are absorbing in the same way the situations and characters in a MacInn ...more
Frank Kusy
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful, wonderful memoir - expertly told and with bags of incident and finely judged humour. Ms Joyce has a very vivid dream-life (keeps a dream diary, I do that!) and one night dreams that she was a wild pinto running free across the Arizona desert. Her friend asks if the horse said anything, and Susan quips ‘Neighed a lot!’ I also LOVED the birthday suit episode – won’t give too much away, but the ‘it didn’t need much pressing’ line had me in fits!
Following a divorce, a series of
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
Susan Joyce’s ‘Lullaby Illusion’ is a truly fascinating memoir. One strand details her travels and life in Europe with remarkable descriptions and a conversational style that effortlessly draws the reader into her world. What an extraordinary and varied life she had. It was certainly touched with tragedy as she suffered numerous miscarriages and the trauma of a stillbirth. She was living in Cyprus at the time of the Greek Cypriot coup and subsequent invasion by the Turkish Army and was very luck ...more
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Lullaby Illusion: A Journey of Awakening by Susan Joyce, truly pulled on my heartstrings. I don't know what I was expecting when I first jumped into this one, but what I came out with was awe and amazement. So well written, impossible to put down, and truly left me pondering for hours after I finished reading it.

This is a memoir, which is the type of novel that I enjoy reading most. You get a real feel of the author and the hardships she had to go through over the course of time. The story m
Richard Klein
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Lullaby Illusion is a wonderful and kaleidoscopic personal journey. Although Susan Joyce passes through gruesome moments: a miscarriage, life in the cross fire zone of the civil war in Cyprus, a marriage breakup where her husband was close to killing her and the loss of her best friend to AIDS, she paints these facts with gentle strokes as the artist she is in "real life" and creates a lovely picture out of them. What I most liked about the book was that, like a certain James with the same s ...more
Pat Ellis
May 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fab 'thumbs-up' from me. I was gripped by the Author's 'journey' during the 70s/80s - And I so admire her 'guts' - not only did she suffer the trauma of miscarriages and the awfully sad realisation that her baby was still-born; but, she never really knew what her then husband did for a living…hmmm. This Memoir covers a frightening time in Cyprus, the 1974 Coup when the Author, neighbours & friends have their lives in this paradise turned upside down - dodging bullets - hiding, escaping - will th ...more
Peri Hoskins
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading Susan Joyce’s ‘The Lullaby Illusion’. I have very vague childhood memories of the conflict in Cyprus during 1974 and this memoir filled in some big gaps for me. I felt while reading the book this was a story that needed to be told and I am glad that Susan Joyce found the time, energy and tenacity to tell it. The author lived through a coup and a war and her story needed to be circulated so others may benefit from it. I particularly liked the descriptions of the coup and resulti ...more
Susan Navas
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Susan Joyce's incredible memoir follows her life through events that make this read more like fiction than fact. Written as a series of dialogues between Susan and various important friends and influencers, it is a compelling and very moving read as we travel backwards and forwards in time through the events described in the book. The book takes us through her escape from the war in Cyprus and a damaging marriage, the loss of her child and friends whom she loved. Susan Joyce emerges through it a ...more
Rosie Crawford
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book kept me looking at my Atlas - truly a great travelogue and good story of Susan Joyce's journey as a person. Using several flashbacks, she tells the story of the overthrow of the government of Cyprus when she lived there with her husband in 1974. She does a great job of describing her harrowing time in the war zone and subsequent travels around the globe. After her escape from Cyprus, she needs to reinvent herself as her marriage unravels. It is an inspiring story of triumph against the ...more
Elsayed Elsayed
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a ride that was! The book is very well written and takes you on a wild journey of a woman who grows right before your eyes. I won't spoil the story but will tease you a bit; she survives the start of a war in Cyprus, miscarriages, and did I mention possibly a spy in her life? There is much more I won't discuss here but this is an artist on the inside with a character made of steel. This must be made into a movie and the screenwriter won't have to think much describing the scenes because of ...more
E.J. Bauer
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book. I certainly didn't envisage being held captive by its pages until the last word was read. The author recounts her amazing adventures during her time in war torn Cyprus and juxtaposes her narrative with scenes from her later life when she moved to Germany. While much of the book read like an amazing action movie, the pages yield a rich mix of adventure, self discovery, and prescience. Her friends felt like my friends and I enjoyed ever ...more
Lizzie Harwood
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the unique voice of the author in this memoir - it read almost like a play script with its reliance on dialogue and moving back and forth through time and place to cover and recover events through various lenses by the narrator. Susan Joyce's exuberance for life and upbeat humor kept me turning the pages and even though some elements didn't feel entirely wrapped up - the mystery of a certain ex's actual activities, for example - overall that didn't matter in the face of the bigger stor ...more
Linda Kovic-Skow
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
From start to finish, Susan Joyce's Lullaby Illusion is vivid, incredible story about a life many of us can only imagine. I'm glad she found a way to recreate her life after a failed marriage with a secretive, abusive husband. I especially enjoyed her descriptions of the the incredible coop in Cyprus in 1974 - a firsthand experience most of us can only imagine from afar. Her writing style will have you racing to the end to see how things turn out. ...more
Ann Patras
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An EXCELLENT read. A very fascinating and insightful book. Susan Joyce certainly had a lot to tell and told it wonderfully.
Without spoiling it for future readers, I can say that I was brought to tears at the loss of one of the 'characters', who I had come to feel very close to.
Lullaby Illusion is clearly a Five Star memoir.
Sarah Butfield
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This true account is told with honesty and integrity. The degree of detail in describing both the physical and psychological experiences is carefully done to enable the reader to not only understand, but also to create a level of engagement. An inspirational woman and an inspirational book.
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An opera is what this memoir reminds me of. Charles, for me, was the greatest mystery to uncurl, and the dialogue created a unique reading experience, in particular the stirring dreams weaved inside the larger story... an experience I happened to like, along with the epilogue.
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Harrowing, touching and beautiful. I would like to read more of this author's work. ...more
Ruth Dresher-Brown
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I recently read Ms. Joyce's hair raising memoir "Good Morning Diego Garcia". Quite a heart stopping adventure story, more thriller than a lot I've read. I saw this on the list of "Other writings by..." and picked it up immediately. While some have suggested the time splits between the 1974 Cyprus war accounts into the later '70's calmer narrative was a bit to get used to, I relished the calm parts to get my head grounded again. The events in this woman's life are way beyond normal and never comm ...more
Linda Hawkswell
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This memoir plays with your emotions from start to finish but the author shows no sign of self-pity. Behind the wonderful narration you can sense her physical pain an her story moves back and forth through the past and back again to present day. I laughed and cried through this memoir.
Susan´s moving story is set in beautiful Cyprus where she spends a lot of her days on her own whilst Charles her husband is away on business. Suffering numerous miscarriages and the trauma of a stillbirth of her ba
Maria Suson
Jun 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I liked the title, the cover, and the story! Susan is a really good storyteller. She takes you for a spin with her through her external journey traveling to different countries and cities as well as through her thoughts and into inward journey into her psyche and dreams.

She discloses her personal account of being caught up in the middle of the war in Cyprus and the coup from Turkey, and especially the shock that her husband knew more than he really should about it. She leads you beyond all her
Sandra McKenna
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing journey of highs and lows and all places in between.
Superbly written, and absolutely riveting from beginning to end.
What an incredible story!
Chelsea Daughenbaugh
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read this book at just the right time in my life. A beautiful story of adventure, survival and discovery. Will be recommending it to my book club!
Julie Haigh
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone. Lovers of memoirs, travel, art.
Recommended to Julie by: We Love Memoirs Group
A Great Book. Wonderful.

When I started this book it was keeping my interest easily yet it had a bit of a rambly quality. As Susan says in the book-that's it exactly-'scattered thoughts'. At the beginning we are in 2008, then flashing back to when she lived in Cyprus and back slightly later in Germany-yet it's easy to follow and has an exciting snappy style. I soon got into the structure of the book and it provided very interesting reading. It's written in quite a different style, refreshing, a c
Gisela Hausmann
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
I meant to read this book for a while. Susan Joyce is a fellow award winner, who won in the category Non-Fiction - Travel, a genre that is very dear to me.
Susan Joyce describes her book's story best when she writes,

"... As a young woman I had set out to explore, to travel the world. The more I explored, the more I discovered myself. So much of life seemed to follow a serendipitous path of spiritual discovery...."

And what a path it was. Married to Charles, a handsome fellow, who did business in t
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Born in Los Angeles California, Susan Joyce spent most of her childhood in Tucson, Arizona and returned to LA as a young working woman. Inspired as a child by postcards from her globe-trotting great aunt, Susan left the United States at age 20 to see the world.

She planned on being gone for a year, but ended up living her 20s and 30s in Europe and the Middle East. As a Jill of all trades, she worke

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Journeys (2 books)
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