Tag: Memoir

First Line Friday #57

Today’s First Line Friday is a tragic and powerful memoir that chronicles one sister’s abusive marriage while interweaving the tragic story of another sister’s tragic death.  Domestic Abuse is something that needs to be stopped!

If you are in danger, please use a safer computer, or call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.  The National Natwork to End Domestic Violence: https://nnedv.org

Amy is born a fighter, six weeks early and a wispy five pounds. 

In April 2002, Janine Latus’s youngest sister, Amy, wrote a note and taped it to the inside of her desk drawer. Today Ron Ball and I are romantically involved, it read, but I fear I have placed myself at risk in a variety of ways. Based on his criminal past, writing this out just seems like the smart thing to do. If I am missing or dead this obviously has not protected me…

That same spring Janine Latus was struggling to leave her marriage — a marriage to a handsome and successful man. A marriage others emulated. A marriage in which she felt she could do nothing right and everything wrong. A marriage in which she felt afraid, controlled, inadequate, and trapped.Ten weeks later, Janine Latus had left her marriage. She was on a business trip to the East Coast, savoring her freedom, attending a work conference, when she received a call from her sister Jane asking if she’d heard from Amy. Immediately, Janine’s blood ran cold. Amy was missing.Helicopters went up and search dogs went out. Coworkers and neighbors and family members plastered missing posters with Amy’s picture across the county. It took more than two weeks to find Amy’s body, wrapped in a tarpaulin and buried at a building site. It took nearly two years before her killer, her former boyfriend Ron Ball, was sentenced for her murder.

Amy died in silent fear and pain. Haunted by this, Janine Latus turned her journalistic eye inward. How, she wondered, did two seemingly well-adjusted, successful women end up in strings of physically or emotionally abusive relationships with men? If I Am Missing or Dead is a heart-wrenching journey of discovery as Janine Latus traces the roots of her own — and her sister’s — victimization with unflinching candor. This beautifully written memoir will move readers from the first to the last page. At once a confession, a call to break the cycle of abuse, and a deeply felt love letter to her baby sister, Amy Lynne Latus, If I Am Missing or Dead is an unforgettable read.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Sisters First


Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life
Authors: Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush
Published: October 24, 2017
AUDIOBOOK

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 27-31, 2017
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Born into a political dynasty, Jenna and Barbara Bush grew up in the public eye. As small children, they watched their grandfather become president; just twelve years later they stood by their father’s side when he took the same oath. They spent their college years watched over by Secret Service agents and became fodder for the tabloids, with teenage mistakes making national headlines.

But the tabloids didn’t tell the whole story. In SISTERS FIRST, Jenna and Barbara take readers on a revealing, thoughtful, and deeply personal tour behind the scenes of their lives, as they share stories about their family, their unexpected adventures, their loves and losses, and the sisterly bond that means everything to them.

Jessica’s Review:

Born into the Bush dynasty, Barbara and Jenna Bush were never going to have a normal life, despite their parents attempting that very fact. And their parents succeeded in that as much as possible. From the moment they were born they were in the public eye and will continue to be.

I am one year older than them, so I really enjoyed this memoir that both ladies co-wrote. Being the same age and growing up at the same time as them, I identified 100% with the ladies. I listened to the audiobook which they both narrated. Their mother Laura Bush narrates the prologue.

You think you know all about the Bush twins with their growing up in the news with Jenna’s troubles and them being in the tabloids, but you don’t. Through this short memoir the reader gets to know the ladies as they grow up with their governor father, then their grandpa becoming President then guess what? Daddy becomes president too! We experience their growing up, their rebellious sides, their heartaches, and fears with 9/11. We see them mature into the ladies they become from the girls they were. The reader also gets to know the Bush family more through this memoir. They have become more like people and less like politicians for me.

We get to experience the beginning of Jenna’s relationship with her now husband. Imagine how he must have felt going to the white house to take out the president’s daughter. Don’t forget, Secret Service agents follow them EVERYWHERE.

There is a sixth disc that includes family pictures that I enjoyed looking at.

No matter your political opinions on the family, this is a memoir everyone should read, because despite everything, The Bush twins are Sisters First.

Sisters First is Recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to those in the USA. I hope your holiday season is a good one!  Enjoy that huge meal we will all eat today, then I suppose shopping comes next for some of you… I’m going to try and enjoy this four day weekend, I hope to get some blogging, reading, relaxing, and maybe catch up on a little tv.  But who knows what will actually happen. I can’t sit still much!  Too much to do and never enough time!

-Jessica

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! I’ve been dreaming about the turkey sitting my fridge, for weeks now and I’ve been baking up a storm, so I promise you there will be no healthy eating today. Both my and Ivan’s family are coming to my house and I have 4 different bottles of wine to help get thru the day! Ivan is finally off this year and today will be filled with loud conversations, football games, lots of food and lots of napping. And of course, a lot of reflection on all the blessings that have come into my life this year. A special thank you to Jessica for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions on her blog! Everybody have a great day and hopefully you’ll find some time to relax with whatever book you’re reading!

-Kim

 

If you have any suggestions for this site, please send a message and let Kim and I know!  We have a great time doing this. We love sharing our love of reading to anyone who will see this site!


And guess what?!?!  You guys get a review today!  This is today’s review Mothers of Sparta sampler: A Piece of Pie

Book Title: Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir in Pieces
Author: Dawn Davies
Expected Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Date Sample Read: 11/22/17

Some women are born mothers, some achieve motherhood, others have motherhood thrust upon them.

Dawn Davies, a six-foot-tall divorcée, couldn’t care less about anyone’s potty training progress, and doesn’t care to share her own children’s milestones with people who don’t love them. But even if she has never fit in with other moms, she has raised three children with her own particular brand of fierce, unflagging love.

In pieces that cut to the quick, we see Davies grow from a young girl who moves to a new town every couple of years, to a misfit teenager who finds solace in the local music scene, to an adrift twenty-something who summons inner strength as she holds the hand of a dying stranger, to a woman dealing with difficult pregnancies and postpartum depression. And in her powerful titular story, we see Davies struggling with the weight of knowing that her son is deeply troubled.

Mothers of Sparta is not a blow-by-blow of Davies’s life but rather an examination of the exquisite and often painful moments of a life, the moments we look back on and say, That one, that one mattered. Straddling the fence between humor and, well, not humor, Davies has written a book about what it’s like to be a woman trying to carve a place for herself in the world, no matter how unyielding the rock can be.

Jessica’s review:

**Please note that this is not a review of the whole memoir, just the sample that Flatiron Books released.**

Flatiron Books advertised on their Facebook page about the Mothers of Sparta sampler: A Piece of Pie just in time for Thanksgiving.  This sampler of Dawn Davies’ upcoming memoir was published on November 21st and is 18 pages long. This is the perfect time for this sampler to be released as it deals with a new mother dealing with her infant’s first Thanksgiving and the chaos that ensues.  All she wants to do is bake a pie!

Davies perfectly captured her experience and the story gives people who are not parents an idea of the craziness that new moms go through. I’m sure the parents that read this will laugh and understand where Davies comes from.  Flatiron Books accomplished their intention of offering this sample for free: I want to read the rest of this memoir!

Pre-order links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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