Transcendental Meditation

BOOK REVIEW: Dear Prudence: The Story Behind the Song

A compelling book that reveals the entire story behind the famous song by The Beatles — and much more.

Dear Prudence book review

Dear Prudence: The Story Behind the Song cover

There are many different reasons one should pick up this memoir by Prudence Farrow Bruns, which gives a detailed account of her childhood and youth.

Drugs and rock’n’roll

Farrow Bruns and her six siblings were born into the family of the famous actress Maureen O’Sullivan and the renowned film director John Farrow. So, firstly, if you want a vivid firsthand account of what it was like growing up in Hollywood in the 1950s, this book is a great read. Farrow Bruns’ detailed narrative of her idyllic childhood in Beverly Hills works like a time-travel machine, allowing her readers to grasp the look and feel of the golden era of Hollywood as seen through the eyes of a child.

Secondly, Farrow Bruns’ book captures the experience of a generation who came of age during the height of the Cold War.

With humanity’s survival seemingly hanging by a thin thread, the youth of that era were motivated to search for the meaning of life in new ways, such as psychedelic drugs and a blend of hippie ideals and Eastern philosophy, which led to both triumphs and failures.

Thirdly, Dear Prudence: The Story Behind the Song provides an honest and bold answer to what really happened during the momentous retreat with The Beatles in Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Rishikesh ashram in 1968, which led John Lennon to write the famous song Dear Prudence. Farrow Bruns reveals how she ended up being the girl whom Lennon asks “to come out to play, see the sunny skies and smile,” without trying to sugarcoat her experience.

Prudence Farrow Bruns in India

Prudence Farrow Bruns. Photo from the author’s website

The journey towards happiness

Fourthly, and perhaps most importantly, Farrow Bruns’ memoir sets the record straight on the misconception that perhaps only those people who are already inclined to be calm and blissful get drawn toward and benefit from the practice of Transcendental Meditation.

Nowadays, Farrow Bruns radiates such joy and tranquility that it is shocking to discover the anguish she experienced before learning TM. Yet in her book Farrow Bruns talks openly about the times she suffered from alcohol and drug addiction and mental illness and about her failed attempts to restore her sanity and happiness.

So Prudence’s story also offers hope for those who are themselves suffering or have loved ones who suffer from similar bouts of seemingly endless and unconquerable darkness. Her quest had a happy ending. The peace of mind and joy she found from meditation allowed her walk out into the sun so that the demons that had haunted her had no option but to leave.

“The sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful, and so are you…”

Visit Prudence Farrow Bruns’ website

Find the book on Amazon