A memoir from a woman who is not famous but not ordinary either, this book spans the author's long and busy life, offering a snapshot of the times she's lived through as well as her atypical experiences. Written for family and friends after the author was diagnosed with breast cancer and facing a very bad prognosis, the author doesn't shy away from the aspects of her life that might show her in a less than flattering light. Finding herself pregnant in college, she does what the women of her generation were expected to do, marry the boy and create a life together. Only that life was a stifling one for her. And so she gets a divorce, leaves her son with her ex, and starts the search for love and contentment that seems to be a running theme throughout her life thus far.
Holding many different jobs, from teacher to corporate trainer to traveling carny worker, dating many different men (and marrying a couple along the way), and veering madly from financial comfort to almost destitute and back again, E. seems to be searching in every nook and cranny for the happiness that eludes her. And then the greatest calamity of all happens and she's diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. In battling her disease and researching alternative methods of treatment, she decides to write her memoir and seems to gain a measure of happiness.
While the memoir itself is sprawling in scope, it sometimes lacked an emotional depth that would have better drawn the reader into the events chronicled. E. is unforgiving of the men with whom she has had relationships, detailing their failings and giving them coy nicknames that served to prejudice the reader before the man was fully revealed and occasionally this came off as a little mean-spirited. In some of the later sections there is name-dropping of a sort (not that I have any idea who the people are given my sheltered little life) and too much unnecessary detail about her time in the high stakes world of wine. There were glimpses of an interesting and varied life but somehow there was more drudgery here than there should have been. I didn't love this read but for an opposing review, look here or check out the amazon review. You can also visit the author's website and access her blog there as well.
Thanks to Paula from Author Marketing Experts for the chance to read and review this book.