When I heard Marie Henein had written a memoir, I was curious. While I greatly admire her (most lawyers do), I wasn’t quite sure if I “liked” her. I didn’t know much about her beyond having seen her speak on several occasions, including in Court and in interviews, and she is obviously an excellent lawyer – shrewd, analytical, poised, polished – and unbearably fashionable (I have never seen her appear in public without beautifully styled hair and fantastic shoes). And frankly, as most female lawyers will tell you, we all chafe at being expected to be “likable” – being respected is more important than being liked (though being liked is nice too).
But she is also sometimes considered a controversial figure, particularly for those who may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with how the Canadian criminal justice system works. So as my mother told me about this book coming out, I wondered (i) how many copies I was going to receive from friends and family this holiday season, (ii) whether I would actually read one of those copies given how busy my practice and life has been and continues to be, and (iii) if I did read it, whether I would actually enjoy it.
As it turns out, (i) I bought a copy for myself well before the holidays (followed by several for friends and family), (ii) I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down, and (iii) I loved it. I didn’t “know” much about Marie as a person before reading this memoir, beyond her reputation for a strong work ethic, keen sense of justice, and love of glitter. So, I was surprised to learn as I read the book that she wasn’t that different from me, and very possibly also you.