Memoir Review: That Bird Has My Wings by Jarvis Jay Masters

That Bird Has My Wings: The Autobiography of an Innocent Man on Death Row
Author: Jarvis Jay Masters

Narrator: Korey Jackson
Published: September 22, 2009
9 hours 48 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: March 18-23, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Audiobook Description:

That Bird Has My Wings is the astounding memoir of death row inmate Jarvis Masters and a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit and the talent of a fine writer. Offering scenes from his life that are at times poignant, revelatory, frightening, soul-stirring, painful, funny, and uplifting, That Bird Has My Wings tells the story of the author’s childhood with parents addicted to heroin, an abusive foster family, a life of crime and imprisonment, and the eventual embracing of Buddhism.

Jessica’s Review:

This was our book club read for March and I think I went in expecting another The Sun Does Shine, which it wasn’t. This was just a depressing book for me. It wasn’t uplifting at all. So many examples of Masters life which was always negative and only a few chapters focused on when he went to prison. He is still on death row for the murder of a prison guard. Is he an innocent man? No, he actually did commit assault and theft. But he is also a casualty of his family upbringing and a broken foster care system.I can’t say much more than this, because this is someone’s actual life, but it was just too much for me. Masters can write well for someone with limited schooling and can tell his story in his own way. His memoir just was not for me.

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