Debut author daMaglia looks back at her full life in a series of anecdotes peppered with advice, recommendations and song lyrics.
The author, a retired academic and grandmother, here recounts the pleasures and pitfalls of her time on Earth. She places a lot of emphasis on her birth-order position; she’s the eldest, with one sister born 11 months later, and another, the surviving twin of a premature birth, born approximately three years after that. (daMaglia also recently tracked down a half brother, the result of her father’s philandering about a half-century earlier.) She cites the psychologist Alfred Adler as she explains why she, as the firstborn, feels the need to have everything under control and why she’s aggressive, scholarly, logical, reliable and conscientious. Much of her life story bears out these characteristics, as she diligently works her way up the academic ladder, first as a nurse, then as a professor of nursing and, later, a university administrator. She describes herself as a “knit-wit”—a compulsive knitter who mentors others in the craft (“I would dearly love it if everyone could come to know the comfort, relaxation and pride that knitting can provide,” she writes). She also endured maladies such as breast cancer and joint replacements. daMaglia goes on to chronicle serious rifts in her family; her sisters severed ties with her more than once, and she divorced her first husband (but found true love with her second). Overall, however, she paints a portrait of herself as a devoted grandmother, wife, teacher and friend. Her pride and affection for her loved ones is apparent in her many reminiscences, including her recollections of her father’s five decades as a city bus driver and the impact he had on his many passengers.
A memoir that will most interest the author’s family and friends.