A hopeful memoir that offers timely insights into why people choose to leave their native lands for new lives in America.

READ REVIEW

ON DARING AND LIFE

In Anderson’s debut memoir, two Argentinian sisters embark on an overland journey to the United States that will change both their lives.

The author and her sister, Marta, were the daughters of a Peronista who found it impossible to work and adequately support his family after Juan Peron’s fall from power. In the summer of 1968, the 20-something sisters decided to leave their dysfunctional family behind under the guise of a trip north, from which they didn’t intend to return. With $250 in traveler’s checks, train tickets to the Argentine city of Salta and a list of potential contacts throughout South America, the girls luckily found hosts and helpers to facilitate their journey northward, and avoided political disturbances that could have stopped them in their tracks. To the author, whose life had been marked by deep distrust, the kindness of strangers was more of an eye-opener than the journey itself. After the two women wound up in Denver, they began their American lives as nannies—the traditional lot of so many Latina immigrants. Later, the author, despite being a high school dropout, found work in the nascent computer industry and ultimately graduated from the University of Colorado. Their parents eventually followed them, and typically, their father shipped them the family dog, unannounced, as the only warning that they were on their way. Their parents both found work that helped them emerge from the frustration and depression that made their lives in Buenos Aires so unpleasant. The memoir skillfully and organically provides flashbacks of the sisters’ lives in Argentina that illuminate their family relationships and put their experiences in the broader context of Latin American politics and history, contrasting them with those of other hopeful emigres they meet. In an era dominated by anti-immigration rhetoric, this memoir serves as a salutary reminder of the reasons that people take the drastic step of immigration, and the innate goodness of those who help them along the way.

A hopeful memoir that offers timely insights into why people choose to leave their native lands for new lives in America.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1493725946

Page Count: 378

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

OPEN BOOK

The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

Did you like this book?

more