Hannah Brown’s book didn’t just cover her Bachelor Nation journey. In God Bless This Mess: Learning to Live and Love Through Life’s Best (and Worst) Moments, the former Bachelorette gets real about her childhood, Dancing With the Stars journey and N-word scandal.
“I think [writing about my childhood and The Bachelor] both came with their own challenges,” Brown, 27, exclusively told Us Weekly ahead of the book’s Tuesday, November 23, release. “The tragedy with my aunt and my cousins was really hard because I hadn’t really ever processed it. I had just gotten a therapist around the time of deciding to write this book. It was kind of, like, an assignment she gave me to write [about] it. That was really hard because there was obviously a lot of emotions there. But on the other side of that, it was really healing. And not only for me but for my family, which kind of comes up at the end of the book, like, how it really has healed our family from something that has just continued to be that hidden thorn in everybody’s side that we just cover up and pretend it’s not there.”
In the memoir, Brown revealed that her aunt LeeLee and two cousins, Robin, 6, and Trent, 4, were brutally murdered by a man who they allowed to live in a trailer in their backyard after he worked on their house. The man, who previously served time for a nonviolent offense, was out on a work-release program. Brown was 6 years old at the time of the tragedy.
The former Miss Alabama also tackles struggles with her mental health, triggered by toxic ex-boyfriends and the pressure to succeed in her pageant days.
“I think the biggest takeaway is we live in a society where it’s just, like, keep going, distract, distract, do the next thing, win this, do this — and there is no accolade, reward, amount of money, followers, whatever, that can really heal the pain unless you do the work,” Brown told Us. “It will just continue to build and build and build and become something that you never thought it would be if you don’t really go to the source. And sometimes that means you’re gonna fall on the ground and it’s going to hurt real bad, but maybe that’s the moment that you can start to heal. … It’s important in my book because, like, your mess can be your message in the end if you can allow it to. But you got to dig through the mess first. I think it’s really being honest with yourself and what your s—t is the only way that you’re going to heal and live life in a really impactful, meaningful way.”
God Bless This Mess follows her Bachelor and Bachelorette journeys and post-show opportunities, including Dancing With the Stars. While she won season 28 in 2019, she revealed in the book how much she was struggling at the time.
“I remember just being, like, ‘I just need a win in my life to feel better.’ And to realize that it didn’t make me feel better, that moment was soul-crushing in the moment too,” she told Us. “I remember just being like, ‘Oh no, it’s supposed to feel different than this.’ That was a big moment for me just in life. And one of the biggest learning lessons that I’ve ever had. I think I was supposed to win Dancing With the Stars to be able to have that story of — you can win the thing, but you have to realize it can mean nothing if you’re just going for the trophies [and] if you haven’t really worked on your heart first.”
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Scroll through for the biggest non-Bachelorette takeaways from God Bless This Mess — or head here for the Bachelor Nation tea: