I will readily admit, I am not an avid memoir reader. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this particular book. Many times, I feel that the writers of memoirs often embellish their memories and do try for the ultimate shock value in their stories. They often seem to miss the point that readers know these are memories and oftentimes are not as reliable as authors think they are.
In the memoir, Memorial Drive, Ms Trethewey has created a believable, understandable, and somberly sad journey that she took down a road that was filled with anguish, the memory of a beloved mother, and the trials of growing up a child of a mixed race couple in the deep South.
Natasha’s struggles with her birth father who, for lack of a better term, abandoned them to a stepfather who was abusive in his approach to her. He caused sorrow, fear, and hopelessness. The unhappiness and hardship she endured was offset by her mother’s love. When, at age nineteen, her stepfather murdered her mother, Natasha’s world fell apart knowing instinctively that this tragedy was almost destined to happen.
Natasha was able to climb out of the depths of her heartbreak and become a Pulitzer Prize winning poet. She recognizes that her ability to create poetry is shaped by the twists and turns her life took. Wonderfully written, this book is recommended to those who love an authentic memoir that moves the reader so well into the life of its author. (less)