Short offers a recollection at the joys and heartbreak of her early life in this debut memoir.
This book opens with an account of a dream involving the titular phrase, which the author had as a young newlywed. It then shifts back to Short’s early childhood in the 1950s and ’60s. Due to her father’s sales job, the author’s family moved around the South throughout her early years, including homes in Missouri and Alabama. Her parents were loving and her childhood was mostly pleasant until, Short says, a trusted family member sexually abused her—a situation that continued for years until her abuser’s death in 1968. Short grew into a headstrong young woman, eventually leaving home and ending up in Kansas City, Missouri, where a job as a waitress led her to her true love, Bob. The author would go on to face instances of tragedy—but thanks to her occasional moments of clairvoyance, she says, she often knew what to expect. Skeptics may take issue with the author’s discussion of clairvoyance and her excursions into such controversial topics as reincarnation. However, Short writes about her travails and triumphs with humility and warmth, and she shows how she faced some of the worst things that life can offer without ever losing hope or becoming bitter. She also effectively evokes the emotional turmoil of trauma without going into graphic detail. The book would have been improved by a stronger copy edit, as the author often distractingly misuses semicolons. However, the writing otherwise flows quickly and well, evoking childhood delights and tales of the author’s first husband with humor and ease.
A warm, sympathetic remembrance that ably tackles difficult material.