Friday, May 23, 2014

Hop Hop Along With Faye!


Hello, and good morning! Today it's my turn to be a part of Faye Rapoport DesPres' blog hop to celebrate the release of her memoir, Message from a Blue Jay.

To be honest, I've never figured out what memoirs were good for… after all, if you don't have to say how it really was, would you still do it? You can call it a memoir and make up all kinds of stuff.
I did read Faye's memoir though. I did it mostly because she's a fellow author at Buddhapuss Ink, and I was curious to see what kind of author my publisher had signed.

And I fell in love. No, I hadn't planned it.

I fell in love with Faye's fluid prose, with her gentle insights and beautiful descriptions.
So, to celebrate the release of Message from a Blue Jay, here's my review. 








A Memoir to Enjoy

Normally, I don’t like reading memoirs. They seem full of self-pity, half-lies, and extenuation. People who write memoirs want to make money by telling their–more or less–exciting life story. I've never understood the concept of writing a memoir. 
Why would anyone want to read someone else’s life story, unless that someone is Henry Kissinger or Kofi Annan?
What could there be in a normal person’s life that would make it so interesting that someone else would want to buy and read it? Why would I read how a stranger travels to London, visits a dying mother-in-law, or tries to save a feral cat? What is the allure?

Here’s the thing:
Faye has written a memoir, and it’s about all those things: traveling to Europe, dealing with uterine cancer too early in life, watching her mother-in-law die, and yes, talking to a blue jay in the middle of a downpour on a lonely road.
She writes about growing up and feeling ugly (don’t we all!), and about herself as a young woman, trying to find herself in a world full of turmoil and imponderables. 
What sets Faye’s memoir apart though is that she looks beyond what meets the eye, is apparent, and finds meaning. She is not afraid to learn from what she encounters. Every essay in this collection tells a small story, but each is also a lesson that Faye learned, and shares with us.
That blue jay on the road? It teaches acceptance. We don’t have control. We don’t control our deaths, we don’t control much in our lives. We need to accept them as they come. Life isn’t about control; it’s about letting go, about gracefully and patiently accepting what comes our way.

Faye Rapoport DesPres is an excellent writer. 
In fact, she’s one of the best writers I’ve read. Her style is poetic, lyrical, observant, and lush, but never excessive, never florid. Her sentences have a lovely cadence, a natural flow, that make them dance easily through the reader’s mind.

A memoir? Yes, Message from a Blue Jay is a memoir. A memoir I thoroughly enjoyed.








Born in New York City, Faye Rapoport DesPres was raised in a rural area of upstate New York. Her maternal grandparents emigrated to the U.S. from Eastern Europe in the early 1900s and settled in the South Bronx, where her mother was raised. Her father, a Holocaust survivor, arrived in New York as a teenager after World War II.


This was the eighth stop on Faye Rapoport DesPres's Virtual Book Tour. 
Don't miss the next stop on 5/26 at This Is Who I Am!

The publisher is offering a personalized, signed copy of Message from a Blue Jay plus swag to the winner of their Virtual Tour Giveaway.
We invite you to leave a comment below to enter.
For more chances to enter, please visit the Buddhapuss Ink or Message from a Blue Jay Facebook pages and click on the Giveaway Tab!