Publisher: Broadway Books
My rating: 2.5 stars
Frances was born and bred in pre Civil Rights Georgia. The youngest of three girls, she has distinct memories of her father and mother's unhappy marriage, something that colored her views of them as parents. After spending her childhood desperate to get out of the south, she returns and finds a home.
It took me a long time to get into this book. In fact, I started it and then took about a month break before returning to it. I found the style very impersonal, affected, and pompous. Non of the other memoirs I've read seemed so against connecting to the readers. Then there were times when the tense changed, and the writing seemed more of a stream of consciousness thing instead of memories. At the same time, I felt that maybe it was just me, because Mayes is a well-known author and professor.
When I came back to it and really stuck to my guns and read it, I found Mayes's memories interesting. The writing still seemed to hold me at arm's length, but since I had given myself to the halfway mark and I continued reading past that, it was keeping me a lot more interested than I had believed. Mayes's descriptions of 1950s and 60s south are full and bright.
I think this might be better for readers who enjoy a "higher" and more intellectual type of reading. There is little language and some sexual situations, but nothing graphic.
*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.