We all have unique relationships with our mothers. Sometimes we adore them and sometimes they drive us crazy, but there is nobody quite like your Mum.
Rosemary Mild sat down to write an autobiography and discovered that her pages were less about her and more about her mother, Luby Pollack. Thinking things through she realized that maybe she should record her memories of life with this extraordinary woman.
I was excited to read Mild’s account of her mother. Her anecdotes cascade through the pages of her book, glistening with affection and admiration. Her enthusiasm and desire to share her mother with the reader is touching in its sincerity and child-like in its trust. To share intimate family stories with the unknown reader takes courage and I am reluctant to judge such genuine generosity.
However, I have to say that whilst interesting and touching, a true portrait of family life in Milwaukee in the 1950’s, I found this book quite difficult to enjoy. The content of the book — anecdotes about Mild’s mother, but also other family members such as her father and brother, John — is fascinating, but the structure, the waterfall effect of stories tumbling towards the reader, creates chaos. There is no logical timeline and the tales are offered in what appears a random procession. This makes the book difficult to follow and very “staccato” in its effect. There is no cohesive link to the anecdotes and this lack of literary glue makes uncomfortable reading.
Perhaps if we were sitting having a coffee and Mild joined us then we would be fascinated by her stories, but in written form they somehow lose some of their warmth.
I hate to write a negative review, but this book, if I am honest, held much promise and yet somehow missed the mark. I think, as I have said, that the structure let it down, for the content was interesting and written with obvious love and affection.Powered by Sidelines