This seems to be a chronic state for me lately - I'm behind on my postings again. But I recently reviewed Catherine Onyemelukwe's memoir, Nigeria Revisited: My Life and Loves Abroad, for Bewildering Stories. I thought it was a unique and fascinating narrative about her experience as a foreigner in Nigeria - you can read a full review here. I hope you enjoy reading it.
Nobody Home by Jacqueline Masumian
This is one of those books that I picked up to start to read... and couldn't put down. Nobody Home is a memoir written in a very personable style that invites the reader inside Ms. Masumian's life growing up with her divorced mother in rural Ohio. There are strange events, such as her mother's over-the-top Easter gift of a pet lamb to her two youngest children, which then ends up having free run of the house during a dinner party, much to the amusement of the guests. There are Christmases at her grandmother's which she calls "bedlam" with all the extended relatives. There are awkward dinners with her distant father when he takes them out to eat at restaurants and can't help but tease the waitstaff, to the embarrassment of his children.
A collection of vignettes and reminisces seamlessly strung together into a cohesive narrative, this book kept me completely engaged, extending through Ms. Masumian's adult life and troubles with her aging parents' health while she undergoes her own personal difficulties.
It's not a long book - only 144 pages. The one disappointment I had is that I would have liked to see more - more anecdotes of growing up on the banks of the Chagrin River, wandering through the woods, dealing with her mother's bouts of frantic depression and eclectic relatives. More about her adult life and problems. But despite dealing with some very serious issues, the book ends on both a wistful and hopeful note which left me wanting more. I'll definitely look out for new work by Ms. Masumian in the future.
I read a lot - depending on my writing schedule, I can usually read about a book a day. Some of the books are fantastic and I would love to recommend to everyone - some, not so much. Either way, I thought I would share a few thoughts on what I'm reading at the moment.