Charlene Jones is the author of My Impossible Life, as well as a meditation teacher and podcaster. She has added a review of my memoir Rag Dolls and Rage to Amazon, which I greatly appreciate. I have copied it below.
Charlene Jones, author, Ontario
Memoirs famously disclose the author’s pain and suffering. One of the powers of memoir is to unleash the hidden dark corners of the author’s life.
Themes of suffering, then, especially suffering as a child, rise on all sides. So, it is not the themes that compel in good memoir writing, but the writing itself.
That puts a double weight on the shoulders of the author to first, explore their own inner suffering and then to articulate the suffering in a surprising, unusual, unique way. In other words, to have command of their writing voice.
Tucker has done just this. Her memoir is framed through her visits, as a mature adult, to her psychotherapist’s office, but the book scaffolds through extraordinary early childhood suffering to early adulthood. And although the pain is unflinchingly reported, the end result is one of quiet triumph.
Tucker in this does what may be the most difficult skill in memoir writing, at least, of memoirs that resolve early childhood suffering. That is, leave the reader feeling life is worth living, even life that begins in unimaginable suffering.
Like Angela’s Ashes, this book accomplishes this with ease. And like Angela’s Ashes, for me, tears along the way.