Brave and honest are two words I will use to describe the author and his book. John Davis decided to be brave and write this memoir. He was very honest about his life. What's more refreshing? At first, I thought I was in for a 'story' in a sense. I quickly realized I was not reading someone's story but I was reading their truth. I was immediately drawn in.
There was no verbal fancy foot work. There were no hidden messages. There was simply John Davis' truth. I liked that he was very vivid in the opening. I was taken back to that frightening night with young John. I could feel the anger and frustration between his parents. I could also feel John's fear. There is one thing that is apparent and that is the descriptive writing in this book was very present. He did just the right amount of describing, not too much where the story gets lost in the words but not too little where you can't visualize what was happening. Although, I would have loved to get more of a physical visual of John while he was growing up. It would have helped in those stand out moments. For example to know how tall he was compared to his father; that would have bolstered the point of how John feared his father regardless of how tall or bulky he got.
The characters not only had roles in the book but John's real life. It is obvious why some were more prominent than others; such as his father and mother. In the early onset of the book we see that John mostly admired his father and that fueled his need to please him. His father wasn't the sit down and talk or play catch type of father. However, he taught John lessons he thought were important the best way he knew how. Giving random bits of advice was one example. But before long he would grow to hate his father. That's when John holds nothing back as he goes into the darker part of things. His mother made me angry. Of all the persons I thought would protect John, would have been his mother. Yet, I could see why she became cold and almost uncaring. After years of abuse and living in fear, it seemed like her maternal instincts switched off although it was still obvious that she loved her boys. Overall she faded in and out for me and I wanted to see more of John's relationship with his mother.
Later on the book, after a hardened John, finally seemed to shrug off the weight of fear. It was brought to light, what I believe to be the actual reason for the book, that he hadn't dealt with his past. His true past hit like a ton of bricks when his mother revealed his true identity and that of his real birth father. Long over due Mom! It seemed like her maternal instincts came back but with a sting. John of course went looking for his father and after a long search, he found him, in the obituaries. I felt my heart break a little for John. But for someone to put their life on paper for the world to see, he was obviously releasing a lot pent up heart break. I applaud him for that. Being united with his blood relatives three months after his birth father dies, it was one hell of a band aid for everyone involved.
I never expected to see a phoenix rising from the ashes when I picked up this book. But I see John Davis. A man who chose to rend his heart and show others, that it's ok to be vulnerable. I lift my hat off to you good sir. I give this one 4 stars.
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Hello, I'm Tammy and I love books! I love writing and reading them. I love them so much I just can't stop talking about them.