Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Cynde's "What's-Up-Wednesday" Book Review!"

The book that I am going to review today is entitled "ROSE: A True Lady" and it was written by Diane L. Wood. Diane has attended a weekly, six-lesson creative writing class and she enjoys memberships in local writing groups, Romance Writers of Australia and Queensland Writing Centre. She has written many poems, a play, three novel-length manuscripts and many short stories. Two of her poems have won prizes and a short story entitled "Revenge" was published in a magazine. Her next project is going to be "the life of her father".

The Synopsis:

"Rose loved her family, endured the hardship of the economic depression of the 1930s, the savage widespread bushfires of 1939... and lay at death's door four times. By sheer luck or determination she refused to die. Losing her mother without closure hung heavily in her heart and affected her entire adult life. Set in Victoria, Australia during the 1900s this true story is about a family and a mother and glimpses everyday life of over a century ago. A valuable piece of Australian heritage."

My Review:

"ROSE: A True Lady" is the true-life account of the author's maternal grandmother. As you can see by the photo of her on the front cover of the book, she was a very beautiful woman and by all accounts, she was just as lovely on the inside as she was on the outside. She was a God-fearing woman who loved her family and did her best to raise them in the proper way; she was definitely a true lady.

For Diane, this book was a labor of love. She spent hours contacting relatives by email, in person, whatever way she could to get to get as much information as possible about the life and struggles of her grandmother. The following is the "Introduction" to her book:

" A life-time fascination with my grandmother brought this story to fruition. Her life was one of illness, hardship and deathly incidents. She found humour where
appropriate and sometimes perhaps where it was not, and laughed at her own doings. She was deeply loved by her own family and friends who have generously shared their
memories of her. The documenting of this story is therefore a valuable collection of
memories. To those who were not fortunate in meeting her, her story is a fine example of living during the hard times of the early 1900s through to the 1970s and as such is a part of our heritage. It gives a glimpse of how it was back then. Through all of it Rose remained true to herself and her family.
In 2004, thirty years after her passing, she was contacted via the wonder of
hypnotherapy. The session was recorded and transcribed. The edited transcript has been slotted into the story in relevant sections and appears in blocks of Italics.
Hypnotherapy sessions can reveal a lot of information. The details are heard by
the subject while in a trance state, the subject then passes it on to the hypnotherapist, much like the party game where a sentence is whispered from ear to ear down a line of players. At the end of the line the sentence is said out loud. By the nature of the human brain the words are always altered slightly by each person and ends up totally different.
Similarly, during hypnotherapy the details said by the subject often are not the exact words or wording they hear. In this case it may not portray Rose’s exact manner of speech.
Everyone remembers from different perspectives. The police, for example, interviewing those present at an incident scene know they will hear a different story from each witness. The accounts herein are no exception and sometimes may seem
No-one’s life can be compacted down to a few hundred pages of text and be
complete. Life is complex and has many facets, too many to document in one volume.
The following collection of memories gives an overview of a mother and her family. It is a story of a family.
These most memorable moments are intended as a tribute to my grandmother and
her life achievements.
Where possible historical facts have been verified."

My Rating: (poor, fair, good, great, or excellent)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to: anyone who likes to read historical pieces or stories about the true-life struggles of women set in the early 1900's. In fact, anyone who likes non-fiction stories would enjoy this book. It was great.

Ms. Wood did a wonderful job incorporating the transcript from the hynotherapy session. It was added to the text so seamlessly that after a while, it was hardly noticeable and just became another enhancement that added flair to her prose.

I know that when people read the description of this book as "a story about someone's grandmother", that you might think it was boring. Let me assure you that it is not! This story is well told, heart-warming, interesting, informational, and even funny in spots. It's a good book, I am so glad that I read it, and I hope that more people will read it, too.

I read the book two times. I am so amazed that she was able to take snippets of her grandmother's life, plus her own memories and those of several family members, plus the account of a doctor's interview from the transcript, and piece them together into such a compelling, poignant and interesting account of a loving, complex, loyal, strong, and fascinating woman.

This story shows interesting vignettes of how people lived in the past, struggling with extreme poverty and living gracefully in the midst of it, always hanging on to their strong faith and love of family. There were heartbreaks and cute little pranks. It was true-to-life throughout, plus delightfully honest and real. I enjoyed it immensely. I could tell it was written from the heart, and by the end, I felt I knew the essence of Rose, a true lady.

GREAT JOB, Diane! If you would like to learn more about Diane L. Wood, you can also check out her incredible short story "Writing Felicity".

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DON'T FORGET: Keep an eye out for the upcoming "Guest Author Interview" that I will be having with Diane L. Wood in the very near future. You'll be able to learn more information about her and find out what she's working on next.

Until next time...stay safe, stay well, and may the Lord bless you all.


Please visit my other blogs:
Cynde's Daybook ~and~ Usurper Exposed. Thank you!