A raw read. In Pieces by Sally Field

SF

“I wait for my mother to haunt me as she promised she would”

I picked up a hardback copy of In Pieces by Sally Field, published by Grand Central Publishing, not knowing what to expect. A lover of memoirs, but not a complete fan of Star memoirs, I was hesitant to give it a go. I am glad I did.

In Pieces is raw, emotional and not your run-of-the-mill Star memoir. Field who took 7 years to write In Pieces, reflects on her childhood trauma with the eyes of a confused shy little girl and those of a strong woman who has found her voice. -even if that voice wavers, at times, due to its vulnerability. To have the strength to tell others in your circle about childhood abuse is a mountain to climb. To write about it for the world to see, to process it and to let the public in, even if we only see ‘pieces’ of it, takes courage.

This is not a fluff memoir. This is a kick in the gut read. This could be anyone’s story. This could be your story, your mother’s story, your sister’s, your daughter’s, grandmothers, etc… Women make up the major theme. The roles they play in Field’s early life start out the book. Center to her story is the strained relationship with her mother. As well as, her close relationship with her unique sister. This struggle continues throughout most of her life.

She touches on her marriage, parenting, failed relationships, and yes, Burt is in there too. All of this is done with a little laughter, some sorrow, questions, and even pain. It is as if she is sorting through a memory bank and taking the reader with her. In a way, she is. Photos, journal entries, magazine clippings, and other items are included as she walks her way through her past.

Most of all, this story is about mothers and daughters. The relationship between a child and mother is important. What happens when the two have a huge unspoken not so secret story? How does one forgive while the other is trying to forget or make up for their failings? This is the ultimate story.

Sure, some might roll their eyes at the thought of another Star memoir but they will be the ones missing out. Field shows us not to take everything at face value.

 

Until next time,

T.

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Change Me into Zeus’s Daughter: A Memoir

Change Me into Zeus's Daughter: A MemoirChange Me into Zeus’s Daughter: A Memoir by Barbara Robinette Moss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Change me into Zeus’s Daughter: A Memoir, by Barabara Robinette Moss, is one of those sleeper books. I bought it at a used books store when a huge sale was going on and it sat on my shelf for some time before I picked it up.

I found out I was sick with a rare brain disorder in Jan of 2016. After years of trying going to doctors and ED visits and being sent home, I finally had an answer. The treatment options were not promising and I was also told I was going blind and deaf. If I refused to have surgery, this would only get worse until I would no longer be able to see. It was due to this diagnosis that I started to read everything in my house I could get my hands on. I didn’t want to waste one single moment I had left with my eyesight. I love to read, books are everything to me, as is my sight, and I could not think of being without the ability to hold a book in my hand and read the printed words.

This brings me back to Change Me into Zeus’s Daughter: A Memoir. The pages were worn, yellowed with age, and dogeared. I didn’t care. I peeled the discount sticker off the cover of the paperback and squinted at the black and white photo of the family sitting on the front steps, trying to see their faces through my fading vision.

The story is not about a famous starlet, sports start or other popular people. This story is about a simple person who grew up very poor with an equally abusive drunk father, and a mother who allowed the abuse. With a large number of siblings, living in the south, with a dysfunctional family, somehow Barbara Moss brings both humor and light to living in her world. She is able to show the reader both her life as a child through the eyes of an adult, and those as a child.

This Memoir to some may seem sad, and many may not want to read books about sad or abusive stories. It would be a shame to pass up this book. Barbara Moss captured me almost immediately with her quick wit, her direct way of writing, and above all else, her determination to survive at all costs, as a child.

It was by reading this book I was given the courage to go ahead and have the surgery I dreaded. I felt if she, a simple, ordinary person, like me, could survive the things in her life that she did, then I, could gather myself up and do what needed to be done.

It took courage to write her story about her life, her abuse, and her family. I hope, if she ever reads these reviews, she will know how much her book, helped this ordinary woman find the courage and strength to do what I needed to do, after reading her book.

Thank you, Barbara Robinette Moss, for having the courage to tell your story. I find it is the ordinary, everyday people whose stories have the most effect on me, and are the most interesting.

This is a well-written book, easy to read, easy to follow and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading Memoirs, history, large families, poverty and abuse.

 

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The White Queen

The White Queen (The Cousins' War, #1)The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The White Queen is considered Book one in The Cousins’ War series by Philippa Gregory. It starts in the spring of 1464 during the famous battles between the Houses of York, Lancaster and Tudor in England. (If you have not read, The Lady of The Rivers by the same author, it might be best to start there in order to understand more the people in this book)

The White Queen TV show by STARZ in 2013 is what led me to find out more about the women featured in the show. Gregory writes about women who history has forgotten and adds her own rich imagination and education, to their stories.

From the jack cover-“The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king (Edward of York) marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons becomes central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown.”

The story of Elizabeth Rivers’ rise above all others to become Queen of England is amazing. Little is known what happened to her children in the Tower of London. This book suggests one ending to those ill-fated children. This book is a real treat. If you like historical fiction, women’s history or just a good royal story, check this book out.

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The Lady of The Rivers

The Lady of the Rivers (The Cousins' War, #3)The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was drawn to this book after watching the first and only season of The White Queen by STARZ (2013). After the season was over I found myself searching for the books to which the show was based upon. The White Queen was based loosely on author Philippa Gregory’s historical fiction/women’s history books. She has written a number of them including; The Lady of the River, The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker’s Daughters. These are all parts of the Cousin’s war story. Gregory’s books were unknown to me until I watched the show. Kudos to STARZ for making a show worth looking into once it was over.

The author’s website, http://www.philippagregory.com has all of her books listed. It can be difficult to navigate due to the books were written out of order. There is a timeline and some handy boxes which can help if you are looking for a specific group of books by this author.

Back to the review, The Lady of the Rivers is an amazing story of a real women, named Jacquetta, who believed she and her family were descended from Melusina, the river goddess. She is rarely spoken about by historians, which just adds to the mystery surrounding her. In the book, Jacquetta is forced to marry the Duke of Bedford around the age of 15 years old. The Duke was English regent of France. In the story the Duke marries her not because he is interested in her sexually or for her monies, but for her innocence and abilities as a seer. The Duke dies and leaves his lands to Jacquetta. She ends up marrying, without the permission of the King of England, to her deceased husband’s squire. The King pardons their marriage and Jacquetta and her husband become close to young King Henry VI and his new bride.

From a purely entertainment standpoint, this book has it all. Magic, Witchcraft, love, passion, death and treason can be found inside the pages of this book. From a historical standpoint, it gives the reader the change to learn about a woman who is rarely talked about or studied. This woman would have been around to see many things change and transpire during the famous Cousins’ War in England between the Houses of York, Lancaster and Tudor, around 1452.

Her daughter Elizabeth goes on to marry the usurper, Edward York, and becomes The White Queen. Her story is continued in Philippa Gregory’s book, The White Queen.

I recommend anyone who loves history, is a woman or simply loves a good Royal story to give this book a chance. It is worth reading.

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Mrs. Lincoln: A Life

Mrs. Lincoln: A LifeMrs. Lincoln: A Life by Catherine Clinton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Mrs. Lincoln: A Life by Catherine Clinton, starts out with the author stating she will not be writing another book about Mr. Lincoln, when in fact, she writes a ton about him. The writing reads like a dry history book. The author focuses on Mrs. Lincoln’s spending habits and what society ‘might’ have thought or what she ‘might’ have thought about society.

There are better books which cover Mrs. Lincoln, and are more enjoyable to read. If you are into dry, cardboard history books this would be the book for you. To say I was disappointed in this book, is an understatement. I caught myself lost in thought several times while trying to stay focused on the content.

I bought the book 2nd hand and am glad I did not pay full price for it.

There are a few interesting tidbits through-out but are hard to find. The reader is easily lost in the who is cousin to who, who is married to who’s sister and such. Overall, this book is difficult to follow.

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Try a Genre and Win Book Blitz with 20 Authors Giving Away 200 Books & More! 7/2/15

This is very cool! Check it out!

spreading the word

New Genre Contest Graphic

How It Works

This challenge starts on July 2nd, and ends on July 30th, so you have a month to get reading.

PERSUADE US . . .

We’re all different and what we like to read is no exception. However, sometimes it’s fun to change things up a bit and try something new. We’re going to help with that, by giving the first 200 lucky readers to ask us an ebook for free. All we ask is that the book they request is in a genre they don’t read, or read a long time ago and drifted out of.

Each participating author will offer ten books for free (we’ll give you a list of what’s available). But if you don’t manage to get in fast enough and there aren’t any books left, don’t worry, you’re still eligible for the Take a Walk on the Wild Side contest. Find a book…

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How Novel is on Facebook!

Guys and Gals, I did it, I created a page for How Novel on Facebook. I know, I know what you are thinking, she sold out! Thought it would be a great place to add this blog. So, now you can message me there and send in any reviews you have. You can still send in your reviews to me here, as well. I will still be reading and reviewing on this blog. So, don’t fail me now! I had some family in for the last month and two months of house construction, as well. I am a little behind on my reviews. I am looking forward to some much needed down time! Happy Reading!

~ C