Date Read: July 1st 2014
Published: April 2nd 2013
Publisher: Random House
The story of Maya Angelou’s extraordinary life has been chronicled in her multiple bestselling autobiographies. But now, at last, the legendary author shares the deepest personal story of her life: her relationship with her mother.
For the first time, Angelou reveals the triumphs and struggles of being the daughter of Vivian Baxter, an indomitable spirit whose petite size belied her larger-than-life presence—a presence absent during much of Angelou’s early life. When her marriage began to crumble, Vivian famously sent three-year-old Maya and her older brother away from their California home to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. The subsequent feelings of abandonment stayed with Angelou for years, but their reunion, a decade later, began a story that has never before been told. In Mom & Me & Mom, Angelou dramatizes her years reconciling with the mother she preferred to simply call “Lady,” revealing the profound moments that shifted the balance of love and respect between them.
Delving into one of her life’s most rich, rewarding, and fraught relationships, Mom & Me & Mom explores the healing and love that evolved between the two women over the course of their lives, the love that fostered Maya Angelou’s rise from immeasurable depths to reach impossible heights.
Review – ★★★★★ (5 stars)
In Mom & Me & Mom, Maya Angelou’s prose is very engaging and flows easily. Maya Angelou never disappoints me with her writing. This was a fast read and rather comforting as well! Even though this book had several repeated incidences (such as Angelou initially addressing her mother as ‘Lady’ since having a mother figure was new to her because she had lived with her grandmother in the South before moving to California to live with her mother, The birth of Guy- Angelou’s only son, Angelou’s failed marriage, Angelou’s near death experience with an abusive lover etc) from her three autobiographies I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Gather Together In My Name, Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas, this is a wonderful memoir centered around Maya Angelou and her mother- Vivian Baxter.
I love how the book is laden with pictures of Vivian Baxter, Maya Angelou and other loved ones during different occasions discussed in the book. A mother’s love is indeed a powerful thing! Maya’s mother’s love certainly made Maya Angelou into the phenomenal woman she was. Vivian Baxter was not a woman to mess with! She was always busy and was adored and respected by everyone in her hometown – even the police officers! She owned a gun, had a casino in Alaska, ran a boarding house in California and owned other businesses. She was a sharp businesswoman with a well of wisdom which guided and gave Maya Angelou sound direction.
Vivian Baxter was not a perfect woman but she was definitely a strong, stern, hip, inspirational, loving, jovial mother to her children (Maya and her son, Bailey). I loved reading about all the ups and downs Maya and her mother faced in their lives. Throughout the lessons Maya and her mother learned, readers also learn about the power forgiveness and survival with regards to mother-daughter relationships. Vivian Baxter was surely blessed with a daughter with impeccable memory, for Maya Angelou painted her mother in an admirable light. I will surely re-read Mom & Me & Mom again before the year ends.
★★★★★ (5 stars) – Amazing book, I loved it. Absolutely recommend!
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