You know how sometimes you go to a movie, or finish a book, and you can't watch TV or even listen to the radio for a while, because whatever you just experienced is banging around in your head so loudly that you can't hear anything else? That's what this book is like. Here's the blurb:
"Raised by an alcoholic mother and without a father, Jonna learned at a young age to put her needs on the back-burner. After her mother dies of cancer, she goes on a spiritual journey looking for enlightenment and a purpose for her life. Eventually, she ends up as a volunteer in the relief effort following Hurricane Ike. There she meets a man that will forever change her life.
In the swamps of Louisiana and the hills of Arkansas, Jonna follows her heart to build a life with an American hero - a 20 year veteran of the Army Special Forces. Only after uprooting her whole life, leaving everything and everyone she knows behind, do the pieces of this fairytale start to unravel. Realizing the man of her dreams is actually the stuff of nightmares; Jonna must once again go within and discover why she is a woman willing to love for crumbs."
It's always amazing to me that smart, seemingly self-aware women get into situations that baffle them...us. I have a great life, but it's not perfect (shocking, I know!). And without dragging any skeletons out of the closet for public viewing, I can say that there were some observations that Ms. Ivins made in this book that really resonated with me.
Another memoir I love is Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott. I read it while I was trying to survive my first year of motherhood (the kid is 19 now, and I'm still not sure I've survived, but I still contribute to his therapy fund on a regular basis).
I think that people who can share the moments in their lives that shape them, and do it with humor, are people I want to be around...in real life, and in print.