Title: Running in Heels
Author: Mary A. Perez
This book was hard for me to read, mainly because – post motherhood – I have discovered that reading about terrible childhoods pulls at all the wrong heartstrings. Getting through the beginning and wanting to scoop little Mary away from all the mess, while simultaneously wanting to save her mother from herself, was stressful. The things I loved about The Glass Castle are the same things that, after having a daughter, held me back from finishing The Liar’s Club. Things I have the stomach to deal with in real life, because it needs done, is not something I have the stomach for in past tense memoirs, because what is done is over with now.
Mary’s memoir remains hopeful and hope filled. After all the trials and tears, she comes out the other side, not just ok, but happy. For this reason, I plan to donate my copy (that was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review) to the women’s ministry down the street. There are so many people who could be blessed by her story.
She’s a quick paced writer, a little repetitive at times, but that is the way it is with memory: certain things stick out and you rehash them trying to make a bit of sense from them. A mother who doesn’t like to cook is one thing, one who won’t cook is quite another. As an adult, a mother, a grandmother, I imagine much of this repetition is bafflement and she articulates the differences at different ages through her life. A child will say “mama doesn’t like cooking” whereas a woman would look back and think, “Why didn’t my mother cook for me?”
Through much of the book, Perez tells you the facts, and leaves you to infer your own conclusions as a nurtured adult. Through obviously more emotional periods she tells you what she was feeling and leaves you to infer the facts. It’s a riveting tactic.