Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2018

TWO MINUS ONE

A MEMOIR

Truthful, dignified, and pragmatic writing.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2018

A woman chronicles a painful divorce in this debut memoir.

Taylor remembers that she was driving on the interstate with her then-husband, Jim, when he suddenly announced, “I’m done with our marriage.” The couple had been facing tough challenges: Jim’s work had forced them to maintain a long-distance relationship for sustained periods, and his brother had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. However, there were no clear indications that Jim would request a divorce. Indeed, the shock was so great that the author says that she felt that “all the oxygen seemed to escape from the vehicle.” When they first got married, she remembers, they used to wake each morning with smiles on their faces; they’d both been divorced before, so they were committed to making their marriage work. After settling together in Summerville, South Carolina, a chain of events, including leaving her job as a teacher, led to Taylor’s feeling isolated. She writes that Jim told her that she sometimes said “hurtful” things, particularly after overindulging in wine, but she felt that her actions didn’t warrant his description of her as “selfish” and “mean.” This memoir confronts the painful, debilitating nature of divorce and offers guidance on how to survive “unexpectedly starting over” at 60. The act of putting her story on paper appears to have been a major source of catharsis for the author; she says that she’d always wanted to be a writer and that her grief helped her to complete this book. Her prose is elegantly descriptive and effortlessly precise throughout, and she speaks tenderly and directly to her readers: “You, too, have the ability to regain your confidence, abandon your hopelessness, and realize that you are not a woman to be tossed aside and forgotten.” Taylor carefully explores her own rebuilding process, including time that she spent in therapy and the crucial support that she received from her friends. Her book may act as a lifeline for other women going through similar experiences, as it offers hope for newfound happiness.

Truthful, dignified, and pragmatic writing.

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63152-454-7

Page Count: 152

Publisher: She Writes Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

FROM MEAN STREETS TO WALL STREET

Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

Close Quickview