Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir, by Natasha Trethewey

Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir by Natasha Trethewey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

»All those years I thought that I had been running away from my past I had, in fact, been working my way steadily back to it.«

This was not easy to read and even less so to review. In “Memorial Drive” Trethewey remembers her childhood, born 1966, in a still very much segregated Gulfport, Mississippi, USA. Her mother black and her father white this clearly was a challenge.

Trethewey’s father leaves the family and when her mother meets another man and, ultimately, marries him, things quickly escalate for young Trethewey who is routinely abused by her stepfather, Joel, who also beats his wife and terrorises the entire family.
Joel eventually murders his then-ex wife.

First and foremost, “Memorial Drive” is about remembering a loving mother and telling her story. When asked about what Trethewey would want to be a key takeaway from reading “Memorial Drive” she answered as follows:

“If I was really honest, I would want for people to fall a little bit in love with her the way I love her. I want people to care so much about her life so that when you read it, despite knowing the outcome, you wish fiercely, fiercely for her survival. ”

Trethewey succeeded at that for me.

Four out of five stars.

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