Book Review by Mary Black BSc M.BIG (Dip)
Life Lines (What Your Handwriting Says About You) by Tracey Trussell M.BIG (Dip)
Published in 2020 by Unicorn Publishing Group
Available in hardback RRP £15
This is no standard book on graphology. Written with great skill and insight, Life Lines takes an in-depth look at some fascinating real-life cases that Tracey Trussell has undertaken over her years as a professional graphologist. The studies are contemporary, captivating and very relevant to our modern world today. Many topics have never been explored in any real depth before from a graphologist’s perspective and the book doesn’t shy away from issues that are often complex, sensitive or deeply personal.
The book is split into four parts. Part One starts with a brief explanation of how graphology works but is, in essence, an absorbing compilation of professional case-studies, including topics such as tapping into creative potential; commitment and trust in relationships; and personal growth. There is also an intriguing look at the handwriting of identical twins, once again sparking the often contested nature / nurture debate. Each case study is brought to life by giving some background to each client, their needs and their reason for approaching a graphologist in the first place.
Part Two is pioneering. Recent years have seen a surge in interest in mental healthcare and, to some extent, a reduction in stigma. Partly as a result of this, many more people are presenting with mental health needs, often in crisis. Focusing entirely on mental health, this section of the book explores a vast range of issues, from the effects of the pandemic, to stress, negative parental influence, the progressive and distressing disease dementia, schizoaffective disorders and finally suicide, all of which have come about through Tracey’s commissions as a graphologist. She goes even deeper, examining the horror of serial killing, using Dennis Nilsen as her example. All the samples in Part Two are mesmerising. There are some painful moments in this section of the book along with some jaw-dropping instances….but there is also hope and positivity and I like the way Part Two ends on an encouraging note, discussing the benefits of good mental health and well-being and how this is reflected in handwriting.
This leads very nicely onto Part Three, which investigates not only graphology’s role in self-help when it comes to mental health , but also the importance of continuing to write by hand in today’s technophile world. Part Four consists of a very detailed glossary and appendix, summarising and explaining some of the handwriting movements and psychological terms covered in the book.
This is a refreshingly different and compelling book. Peppered with enthralling stories and vignettes, the writing style is extremely personable (it feels a bit like a good friend having a chat with you), the samples well-explained and Tracey’s depth of expertise and insight shines throughout. The case studies are backed up with genuine client feedback following the commission, which add to the power of her astonishing accuracy and skill. It is an academic book, aimed at the experienced graphologist, but is also suitable for the student or simply the uninitiated but curious layman. Everyone will learn something new from Life Lines. This is an absolute must for our bookshelves.
Mary Black BSc M.BIG (Dip)
Written for The Graphologist Journal of The British Institute of Graphologists, Summer 2022, Issue 155