Hello dear Readers,
Below, my book review of Pieces of my Mother. A Memoir, by Melissa Cistaro.
Author: Melissa Cistaro
Publisher: Sourcebooks (May 5, 2015)
Hardcover: 320 pages
*I gave 5/5 stars on Goodreads
Reading this book was a heartbreaking experience for me. It was really sad. I never read a book like this before. When I read the description, I never imagined it was going to be as painful as it was. I haven’t experienced the same situation as Melissa, however, I live far away from my family, in another country. There are situations that I haven’t solved or give the appropriate closure. Situations that are hard to confront. There are times when I find myself thinking: “what if something bad happens to any of them and I cannot be there on time to say goodbye?”. In different ways, we all are constantly looking for answers, especially to the hardest situations we go through in life.
I want to thank Melissa for writing such an honest book. I cannot imagine how hard it was for her to open her heart and show us not only her vulnerability, fears, insecurities, sadness, mistakes, self doubt and imperfections but also those of her mother, grandmother, father and brothers, her entire family. When a writer has the bravery to pour out her heart and show us who he/she really is, it makes the story more believable. Credibility, especially in Memoirs, is always well appreciate it. Melissa’s writing style is beautiful, well executed. I think it is what holds the entire story together. She shows us what happened and how hard it was to grow up without a mother and all her fears on parenting her own children but also, a hope for a better future, that sense of hope it was always present for me in the book.
Told from Melissa’s Point of View, Pieces of my Mother is the story of Melissa and her mother. Going back and forth between the past, when Melissa’s mother left the house, and what it was like for Melissa and her brothers to grow up motherless, and the present, when Melissa’s mother is dying and she goes to Olympia to stay with her in her last days, where Melissa finds a series of letters her mother wrote throughout the years to her and her brothers but never sent and how she hopes these letters would contain the answers to all the questions she has had for so many years. The search for that something that would give her some sort of closure.
This book gave me a sense of Self-Examination. It made me think what the impact of having so much “unsaid” in life can have on people around you, especially the ones you love. Family, friends. It also helps us to understand that our situations in life may be different but we all deal with the consequences of our decisions. We all face doubt. We all at some point in our lives try to avoid the same mistakes our parents or brothers made or are making. It teaches us that we always have to try to understand why people do what they do or why the make the decisions they make and not to judge them because at the end, there is always a story behind the why’s. For some people is harder to open up about their lives and explain why, like I feel is the case of Melissa’s mother but that doesn't make her a bad person. It makes her human.
Pieces of My Mother, a book that will be in my mind for more years to come. All the lessons I learned that I will keep in my heart. Forgiveness, love and learn from our mistakes.
Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks for sending the ARC copy, in exchange for an honest review.
My Favorite Quote
"When I think of Bella, I know it is no mistake that I have a daughter to teach me about the things I still need to learn."