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Book Review: Singing Her Alive: A Fictional Memoir by Diana K. Perkins

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Singing Her Alive begins when the death of the main character’s grandmother takes a modern city dwelling woman, named Sarah, back to her roots. When Sarah returns home to help her mother clear out her grandmother’s belongings, she finds herself feeling connected to the old homestead. Her interest is peaked when she discovers the diaries of both her grandmother Rebecca and her lifelong friend “Aunt” Doris.

Taking her back in time to the late 1800s, Sarah reads about how Doris and Rebecca met. Sharing a bed in a room in a boarding house while they both worked in a textile mill started their friendship. As their relationship blossomed, they encountered many complications and obstacles from others, who couldn’t accept that they were becoming more than just friends. When a crisis forces them to look elsewhere for a fresh start, Sarah’s future grandfather helps them with this goal.

As Sarah reads these journals, she finds herself feeling pulled further and further away from her life in Boston. Through her readings, Sarah is able to go back in time and see how life was for these two women. As she sees how they discover each other, she also begins learning more about herself. Her personal life becomes more involved in this little town. Family secrets that are revealed in the diaries also greatly complicate things. Sarah has to figure out how she is to handle what information has been revealed to her, because it will still have a tremendous impact on those she cares about. As she works through this dilemma, she also is growing closer to her mother and has made some special friendships with two local people.

Singing Her Alive has two love stories. One is from the past, and the other is developing in the present. Both involve difficulties, yet the people involved reveal themselves to be incredible characters who are worth fighting for. Written as a fictional memoir, the author made it hard for me to believe that it didn’t really happen. Including a great deal of true historical information really helped with this. She peaked my interest so much, I found myself looking through a website that is included as a reference. I highly recommend reading this novel.

Singing Her Alive: A Fictional Memoir
Diana K. Perkins
FriesenPress (2011)
ISBN 9781770671195

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