Kaleidoscope of Life
Title: Mothers of Sparta
Author: Dawn Davies
Publish Date: January 30, 2018
Format: *ARC paperback
Rating: 3/5 stars
From The Back Cover:
Some women are born mothers, some achieve motherhood, others have motherhood thrust upon them. Dawn Davies is in the third category. A six-foot-tall divorcee, she isn’t chatty, couldn’t care less about anyone’s potty training progress, doesn’t care to share her own children’s milestones with people who don’t love them. But even if she has never fit in with other moms, she has raised three children with her own particular brand of fierce, unflagging love.
In stories that cut to the quick, we see Davies grow from a young girl who moves to a new town every couple of years; to a misfit teenager who finds solace in a local music scene; to an adrift twenty-something who summons inner strength as she holds the hand of a dying stranger; to a woman dealing with difficult pregnancies and post-partum depression. And in her powerful titular story, we see Davies struggling with the weight of knowing that her son is deeply troubled.
Mothers of Sparta is not a blow-by-blow of Davies’ life but rather an examination of the exquisite and often painful moments of a life, the moments we look back on and say, That one, that one mattered. Straddling the fence between humor and, well…not humor, Davies has written a book about what it’s like to be a woman trying to carve a place for herself in the world, no matter how unyielding the rock can be.
A memoir, that reads more like a collection of personal essays or diary entries from different points in the author’s life, giving more of a kaleidoscope view of life rather than an actual time line. Which, can possibly be confusing for some. I personally love it, but could see that some people would not. Each chapter details different points in Dawn Davies life, from her childhood to her current life. Some detailing a rough childhood of moving a lot dealing with making and losing friends over and over, her parents divorce, college life, accidents to her own divorce, children, remarriage and blending families. Her troubled son and the short lives of the family’s various pets. The author suffers from anxiety, which comes across very clearly in the book, which if you also, have anxiety, you can relate to. Beautifully written, with just enough snark to keep it real. plus, that first sentence, was a wow from me.
I thought it was an interesting look at a life, and the lives of those around her. I had some trouble with the fact that kept getting pets, when clearly they should have stopped. Also, the fact that the author kept using the Latin/medical terms for body parts, when it was clearly not necessary came off as pretentious, though I do feel the author was perhaps going for funny. It was at time humorous, and others heart wrenching and still others was just a look at what goes through people’s heads sometimes. It’s true what they say, everyone has a story and it’s probably more interesting than you think it is. The author has a lot going on in her life, an unsettled childhood, parental divorce, marriage, children divorce, remarriage and a troubled child.
What I liked:
- the style of writing, the slices of life in the various chapters rather than a timeline
- I found the author very relatable
- it made me feel all the emotions all of them (laugh, sadness, smiling and more)
What I didn’t Like:
- the pet situation, it seems that if they kept dying you should probably have stopped getting them
- the chapter where she just lists all the men she wishes she could have had sex with, while it was interesting, it didn’t really fit and seemed the odd man out
I gave it 3 stars, mostly because while the words were crated together rather brilliantly. It all just came across as meh. The topics were often times humorous or heart wrenching and it can take a toll on the overall book, even in a memoir.
*I received an advance copy from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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