Sunday, July 05, 2015

The best memoir I've read in an age

'Tharon Ann' by Jennifer Brookins

Anyone who has read Jennifer Brookins ‘Who’s up ‘ on Face Book will know she is a born writer.  Not surprisingly her life story is one of those gems you can’t put down and I envy you having it to look forward to.
She speaks with the authentic voice of each age and period in her life and is at her  most captivating as the gutsy, abused little girl.
Tragedy strikes when her father is killed in a road accident 3 months before she is born. Her mother can’t find it in her heart to love her.  She is rejected by her stepfather and while her mother is dying in hospital she is abused by a family friend.
But T.A.  is no victim and she takes ‘Mr God’ to task when she can’t reconcile the teachings of Jesus with the racial bigotry in Little Rock USA.

When her dearest friend Tessie – a little black girl - dies she appears to T.A. in a vision and tells her ‘there ‘aint no black and white in Heaven – just love.’  At one time Tessie and her mother Mama are
the only ones to shew Jennifer love and affection.  We learn that Tessie dies but not what happened to her and Mama.

 The next part of her story is when she becomes an acclaimed actress working with such luminaries as Kazan, Warhol, Albee, Robards, Jackie Kennedy and Ronald Reagan to say nothing of Lucille Ball. (It’s fair to say that Jennifer did not love Lucy.)  There are fascinating insights into this exalted company

Hard edged, spirited fighter though she is Jennifer begins to lose her way in this period – drink, drugs, four packs of cigarettes a day and she has a disastrous marriage with the 'Sperm Donor' who leaves her pregnant and caring for their child Rome and Willy the sperm Donor’s child from another marriage.  She now has to care for three children as a single Mum

 Then she becomes a Seeker ‘I can’t find him’ she laments to Lowee a caring relative.  She hears of a mystic - Mary Blakemore and becomes obsessed with finding her.

This is the part I had some difficulty with - questioning some of Mary’s treatment of her devotee but in the end I admit it worked for Jennifer.  An example of her influence is when Mary told her to have all her teeth extracted but to consult four dental surgeons first .  Jennifer did so and the consensus was that her teeth needed treatment but extraction wasn’t necessary.  So Jennifer has them all extracted as she felt this is what Mary wanted.
I have to say Jennifer has the most beautiful smile.

 Being a romantic my cup overflowed when there was a happy ending – and not just spiritual one. 
No review could do justice to this book- you have to read it for yourself.  Enjoy.



kenju said...

You have made me want to read it, Pat!

Pat said...

Judy: I'm sure you will enjoy it.

LL Cool Joe said...

I have a feeling my mother might like this book. I'll buy it for her. Thanks for the review.

gypsywoman said...

lovely review of this intriguing j's intriguing story...

OldLady Of The Hills said...

This sounds like a terrific ;read;, dear Pat.....I will have to get it....Thanks for the Heads Up!

angryparsnip said...

Wow, what an interesting read.
I am so happy that it has a happy ending.

cheers, parsnip

Pat said...

that's a nice thing to do. Let me know what she thinks.

Janine: Wouldn't it be great to have a drink a trois?

Naomi: nothing like a good read is there. I've read it twice. Do let me know what you think of it please.

Parsnip: yea and I believe she is going to do a follow up about her Indian experiences. Can't wait.

Keith Smith said...

Hi Pat. Talking about books I'm still scanning the shelves in W H Smiths for your autobiography, but just cant seem to find it anywhere. . . . .just saying.

Pat said...

Re my book - I started doing a final edit about a year ago, made some changes and then found I couldn't find the time and energy to work on it. The thrill had gorn!
I know it is madness to throw away all those years of work and I'm hopeful I'll get my mojo back. I certainly feel inspired after reading Jennifer's book and also keen to give agents and publishers a miss and travel the ebook route. I didn't realise how much time and energy just running a house single handed takes. We'll see:)

Ms Scarlet said...

Thank you for the recommendation, Pat, I'll keep an eye out for it.

Pat said...

Scarlet: it is on kindle which is great unless you are reviewing it on an old one where you can't swipe to check on something and have to make copious notes whilst reading it.

neena maiya (aka guyana gyal) said...

It sounds like a great read, Pat, I'm going to pass this along to one of my fave aunts, to cousins, friends.