"If you can write, that's great. If you can tell a story, that's even greater. But if you can work a resilient premise into both, you're worth digging to find."

Friday, November 7, 2014

Ugly to Start With by John Michael Cummings

The Good. The writing style is simple, direct, and very easy to read.

The Mmeh Okay. I warmed up to the smooth as silk dialogue and storytelling, falling most for the relationship John shared with his mother, as it is through his interactions with his father that augments the surliness at the heart of this tender collection of stories.

The Best Part. The overall experience of reading John’s stories reminded me a lot of what many children experience... that archaic rickety bridge parents often build between them and their children in getting them ready to spread their wings. Some children might tip-toe across; or storm over willful, determined on what of their parent’s teachings they will heed or not heed. Others will cross over so resentful of the experience that they adamantly refuse to look back. All children however, regardless of how they cross the bridge, always retain parts of their parents teachings, whether they want to or not, or whether they realize (admit) it or not. ‘Ugly to Start With’ represents that bridge John crossed to later reflect on. That’s the part about this memoir that I really, really liked.

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