Monday, June 1, 2009
80 - Who Do You Think You Are? ; Alyse Myers
Who Do You Think You Are?: A Memoir; by Alyse Myers is a wonderful memoir that hooked me from the very first page, and did not let go. I was able to read this deeply moving story all in one day.
The story begins soon after the funeral of the author's mother as Alyse and her two younger sisters are going through the things left behind in their mother's apartment after her death. While two of the sisters are arguing over what to take for themselves, Alyse wants just one thing: a locked wooden box with a skull and crossbones on top of it, that her mother kept buried deep in her closet. Alyse's mother told her when she was thirteen " you can have the box when I am dead. In fact, it will be my present to you". (It is not until years later when Alyse is married and has a daughter about the same age as she was when she became interested in the mystery box, that Alyse and her daughter open the box together to unravel mysteries to her mother's past).
The story travels back in time to when her parents met, their rocky relationship, screaming matches, and how it affected the children. Growing up in a poor high rise in Queens, Alyse watched her unhappy, mother and knew she wanted more for herself out of life. Although Alyse was the apple of her father's eye, he drifted in and out of their lives, leaving her mother more angry and bitter. When her father died when she was only eleven, her mother's anger seemed to be more directed at Alyse.
As a child of the fifties, growing up in the sixties, I could really relate to a lot of the dysfunction Alyse (especially) and her sisters had to endure. She made up her mind early on that she wanted much more from life than what her mother settled for, and when Alyse speaks her mind about how she feels, it causes her mother to respond with anger: "Who Do You Think You Are?"
"Who Do You Think You Are?" is a poignant page turner with an unexpected ending. If you don't mind reading stories about dysfunctional families, try this book out.
This memoir is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
RATING - 4.5/5 - COMPLETED - 6/1/09
WHERE FROM: Library