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 self 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 person. 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 amount 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.

(Disclaimer: I am also the survivor of abuse. This book may be a trigger for some. It wasn’t for me, but it maybe for some.)

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A World Elsewhere: An American Woman in Wartime Germany

A World Elsewhere: An American Woman in Wartime GermanyA World Elsewhere: An American Woman in Wartime Germany by Sigrid MacRae
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To start off, I won an AUP of A World Elsewhere: An American Woman in Wartime Germany(softcover) by Sigrid MacRae after entering a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.
This novel is a memoir of a family in Germany before, during and after WWII. This novel is written by one of the younger children who never knew her father.
The novel also shows the reader a view point of A German military officer during WWII and the reasons he joined with Hitler against the Russians. I found this to be very interesting because, most history is written by the winners and the losers are often portrayed in an unjust light.
After the death of her husband, the Countess and her 6 children must learn how to survive in war torn Germany. Her struggle is amazing and horrible. This story is not just about Hitler or even who was right or wrong. It is a snap shot of what happens in war to those left behind. The daily the struggle to survive,to gather food, clothing and to have a roof to sleep under at night brings us a picture of the effects of war. It is a great human story of one woman’s fight to keep her family safe, alive and together.
I wish there would have been more photographs since, they are hinted at in the book. Also, at times, the background and stories about the war are jumbled and can lead to some confusion for the reader.
Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys memoirs and history.
A big thank you to the Author, publisher and Goodreads for allowing me to read this inspiring work!

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Oh Crap! I Look like my father….Did I just sound like my mother?……

daughter “Mom! Can I go to the game?”
Me “No you are grounded”
Daughter “Why?”
me “because I said so!”
Daughter “But Mommmm!”
me “No!now don’t ask again!”
Daughter rolls eyes
Me”Don’t you roll your eyes at me young lady!”

That’s when I realized I have become mother! Holy Crap! I stopped arguing with her because I was in shock! I just sounded just like my mother!! She just stood there in the kitchen looking at me as I tried not to cry! I gave in and let her have her way. I really did not want to sound like my mother!

The image that flashed before my eyes, was of a curly-headed girl about her age standing in a kitchen similar to the one I was in, having the same conversation with another mother. Mine. I remember making a silent vow to myself that I would never, ever, never, ever tell my kids “don’t you roll your eyes at me!”, when I was a child. I remember thinking I was going to be different. I was going to raise them with a soft, but firm hand. I was going to explain things to her, not yell “because I said so!”, just because I did not have an answer! I was gonna be super mom, soccer mom, PTA mom, the coolest mom on the block! There was no way I was going to try to bribe my little girl with things to get her to do what I wanted her to do. I was not going to be the yeller! I was going to handle all situations with wisdom, grace and intelligence. Above all else I WAS NOT GOING TO BE MY MOTHER! I have FAILED miserably!

I walked into the bathroom after this little incident in the kitchen. I washed my face. I did not warsh my face, as my mother would say! I felt a little better. That is until I looked in the mirror! I glanced up at the image in the mirror! I jumped back a few inches. The face I saw looking back at me, looked a heck of a lot like my father! Holy shit! When did this happen!? My eyes followed my hair-line, where the once golden blond hair has traces of gray in it. I touched my eyebrows, unruly as they have always been. My gaze followed to the color of my eyes. Eyes that change color depending on the mood I am in-just like someone else I know! My gaze then drifted to the corners-the crows feet. Just little creases at the corner, but very similar to my father. I put my hands to my face and felt the lines around my nose and mouth. When did they become this deep? I rested my gaze on my nose. Which by the way is the feature that I hate the most. I have never had a beautiful profile. My nose being slightly larger than necessary. This was alway the defining landmark that connected me with my father. OMG! Is it bigger? I finally let my gaze shift to my mouth, always slightly crooked, not crookered as my mother would say! Ok I am good, it has not changed that much. Then I saw it! The landmark, unlike my nose. It has always been subtle. Just beneath the surface. No one sees it very often. In fact, I used to be terrified that someone would point it out to me as a teenager! I lean closer to the mirror. Searching. There it is! That horrible little indention! I pulled my lip up, much like a man does when he is shaving around his lower lip. I could see it winking at me. As if to say, here I am, here to stay! The cleft chin. A Y-shaped indention in the chin that is inherited by a dominate gene. A dominate mutated gene, mind you! I think I blacked out for a momment. I walked out of the bathroom into the bedroom to sulk, cry and feel sorry for myself.

Now, I am not knocking my parents. This is not about how bad my parents are or if they are unattactive. It’s about me, being me. I think what bothers me most about all of this is always thought I was an individual. My own person. I remember saying as a child. “I will never became like them!” I know that this thought process is the same for most people. I mean, we all have parents. We all want to be our “own person”, right? Heck just the other day, my mother made the comment to me that she realized she was becoming her mother. I laughed it off. “What Mom? Nah, you are you mom!” giggle giggle. The older she gets the more she takes on her mothers ways, face and sayings. I was determined that I would NOT follow down the same path! Yeah right!

I noticed since the incident (horrible as it was) with the mirror, that I sound more and more like my mother every day! The way I say things to my daughter, my husband. The tone of my voice. The problem is that once I realize what I said, I will stop in mid sentence. Shocked! My family usually,looks at me strangely as I try to continue what I was saying without sounding like my mother. My husband pointed something out to me yesterday after a little argument with my 13-year-old had me curled up in my bed wanting to pull the covers over my head and never come out. He pointed out that my little girl was a mini me! I was horrified at the thought! Not my daughter. She is her own person! She voices her thoughts out loud! She always has to have the last word. The moon is blue! She always has to be right! Her way is the best! She often takes control of the group. Shes the director, the leader, the mouth of it! She is funny, she has a wonderful sense of humor! Oh, holy balls. It dawned on me! I was looking at my reflection! The tilt of her head, the set of her jaw, the way she talks with her hands, the kindness in her heart for animals. What have I done!? I don’t want her to be me! I want her to be her! I don’t want to be my mother! I want to be me!

I sat there thinking, worried that my little girl is going to be in counseling for years! That somehow I ruined her! I realized that she is trying hard to pull away from the image she has about me. She is trying to become her own person. She is rebelling from me to become herself. She is not doing this because she hates me, or because I am a crappy mother. She is doing this, this arguing, eye rolling and sass, to not become me! I never understood it before. She is everything I am not too. She is a class clown, a practical joker, a funny face maker. She is girly, bows, make-up, a fashionista! She is petite were I am not. She has piano hands, not the cubby, stubby little hands that I have. She is thin, wiry! Never will she have to worry about her weight. Goofy! She hates anything scary, sad or unkind. Her hair is straight, cannot hold a curl.The color of honey in the summer and almost mahogany in the winter. In fact she told me one time, that she loves her hair. She never wants to have hair like mine. Mine is curly, unruly, crazy, wild, untamable just like me. She is good in math and she likes it!(well everything except long division, we share that!)
As I thought about my little mini me that I created. I began to see that it is all a circle. She is the image of her father, the voice of her mother and I am the image of my father, the voice of my mother. My mother is the image of her mother with the thoughts of her father. I will take care of my mother, just as my mother will take care of her mother. I will continue to rebel against the thought of becoming her. Just as my mother will with her mother. My daughter will continue to struggle to be her own person too! But as much as we pull away, trying to be individuals, it will catch up with us. It will catch us unaware one day. My daughter will look in the mirror one day and say the same thing. She will be shocked and may be a little scared! And I dear readers, I will sit back and giggle, giggle until tears roll down my face!!!