Emmy-nominated screenwriter and producer Lisa Rene DeBenedictis pieces together a scrapbook of memories from a life less ordinary after severe concussions and multiple falls in this uplifting debut collection of sometimes humorous, deeply moving short stories and poems.
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I greatly enjoyed listening to this "short" memoir. The stories are set all over the country, from northeastern Ohio, where I live, to New York and Hollywood, which I can only imagine. The author's voice is warm and clear, and she draws you into her memories. She has worked with a wide variety of "Names" in the entertainment industry, but my favorite stories were the more personal ones: finding out dance night was cancelled but dancing anyway, her gift for teaching people to ice skate, the story of her first boyfriend. Lovely!
No, I can't.
However, I can take longer than 3 words and say that this is an enjoyable combination of stories and the author's thoughts on life, which I found the more compelling of the two. The stories were entertaining, but the musings were like aphorisms that were expanded and made literate. Whereas an aphorism can be tossed aside as cliche, these were palpable and often made me nostalgic. The stories had some laughs, but when I titled this "amusing musings" I did not mean amusing in a funny way, rather, I meant amusing as in arousing the senses and being evocative of time and place. That's what the musings were.
The author, by virtue of her nearness to the material, brings her personality to the narration. I don't think this could have been achieved as well by an outside narrator.
I did not break out in hives, if that's what you're asking.
Just to clarify, I gave "Story" 3 stars because there isn't really a story here, and they made me give something. In a way, the author tells her story through her musings but there is no plot. That isn't the point of the book.
- Marc Jaffe