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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Who Do You Think You Are? by Alyse Myers

Who Do You Think You Are?: A Memoir

Publisher: Touchstone
ISBN: 1416543066
Pages: 272 pgs
Genre: Memoir
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Please prepare yourselves for a gushing review. I apologize in advance.

Summary from publisher:

After her mother's death, Alyse Myers covets only one thing: a wooden box that sits in the back of a closet. Its contents have been kept from her for her entire life. When she was thirteen years old her mother promised she could have the box, "when I'm dead. In fact, it'll be my present to you."

Growing up in Queens in the 1960s and '70s, Alyse always yearned for more in life, while her mother settled for an unhappy marriage, an unsatisfying job, and ultimately a joyless existence. Her father drifts in and out of their home. There are harrowing fights, abject cruelty, and endless uncertainty. Throughout her childhood Alyse adamantly rejects everything about her mother's lifestyle, leaving her mother to ask "Who do you think you are?"

A personal portrait of a mother and daughter, Who Do You Think You Are? explores the profound and poignant revelations that so often can come to light only after a parent has died. Balancing childhood memories with adult observations, Alyse Myers creates a riveting and deeply moving narrative.

My Review:

What can I possibly say about this book that would adequately express how much I loved reading it? It is not the type of book that you will say “Wow! I really loved that book” but you will become engrossed in Alyse’s story. You will be unable to put the book down and it will take awhile to fade from your memory. I love books like this. Books that even a week after you finish, you can still recall even minor details. This type of book happens very rarely and I am glad I was given a chance to read it.

Who Do You Think You Are? is a wonderful book. There is not much more I can say than that. The writing is perfect. Alyse Myers does a wonderful job of bringing her story to life. I am amazed at how she can remember so much. I can barely remember yesterday much less my childhood. Most of my childhood memories seem as if they happened underwater when I try and recall them. Alyse, as a child, teenager and adult, was a completely engaging character. I loved reading about her family, as well.

I think we all can see some of ourselves and our childhoods in Alyse’s story. One particularly striking moment for me was when Alyse was less than pleased that her she had a new sister. I did almost the exact same thing. When my little sister was brought home, I was two years old. I walked up to my mother and asked “What is it and when is it leaving?” When they said that she was here forever, I ran downstairs to my grandmother’s and did not return for a week.

I would recommend this book to just about everyone. It is that good. I am passing this on to my sister and mother because I know they would love it, too.

Please go to Alyse’s website to view an excerpt from the book, a video of Alyse’s interview on The View and other articles, and contact information.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.


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