Gregory Shepherd has kindly shared his spiritual journey with us in A Straight Road with 99 Curves: Coming of Age on the Path of Zen.
It's hard to develop the frisson you need to write a review, with a memoir, because it's his account of his personal experience. If you agree with a book, then you're just doing a summary of a book in the review. Perhaps it's an example of a trend you want to reinforce. I like hearing about the spiritual journey, so that's what I want to reinforce.
I like memoirs. I was interested in Sheppard's experience. He had the same lack of connections to help him through a difficult period in his meditation practice, though he might not put it that way. He explored, but was repulsed by another sangha's leader and his successor, and then eventually came back to Zen in midlife. A fascinating journey.