Title: Mom & Me & Mom
Author: Maya Angelou
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Random House Audio
Voice Actor: Maya Angelou
Finished Reading: August, 19, 2014
About: “The story of Maya Angelou’s extraordinary life has been chronicled in her multiple bestselling autobiographies. But now, at last, the legendary author shares the deepest personal story of her life; her relationship wiht her mother.
For the first time, Angelou reveals the triumphs and struggles of being the daughter of Vivian Baxter, an indomitable spirit whose petite size belied her larger-than-life presence – a presence absent during much of Angelou’s early life. When her marriage began to crumble, Vivian famously sent three-year-old Maya and her older brother away from their California home to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. The subsequent feelings of abandonment stayed with Angelou for years, but their reunion, a decade later, began a story that has never before been told. In Mom & Me & Mom, Angelou dramatizes her years reconciling with the mother she preferred to simply call “Lady,” revealing the profound moments that shifted the balance of love and respect between them.
Delving into one of her life’s most rewarding and fraught relationships, Mom & Me & Mom explores the healing and love that evolved between the two women over the course of their lives, the love that fostered Maya Angelou’s rise from immeasurable depths to reach impossible heights.”
This is my first Maya Angelou read. I picked it in light of her recent death. I figured now is the time that I finally get my taste of Angelou. I saw this audiobook sitting on a table just staring at me at the library. Mocking me. So, I checked it out. And I listened. It was aight.
As the about section basically gives away is Angelou’s whole story wrapped up in three simple paragraphs. I didn’t read the back of the audiobook and thought the title referred to Angelou having two mothers. Don’t laugh. I didn’t know ANYTHING about Angelou before this autobiography. Snaps for the audiobook featuring Angelou, herself, as the voice actor. I usually enjoy when this happens, however, I’m not so sure with this one.
**Disclaimer** Everything I say is not a personal attack against Angelou nor is it about her struggle.
I was less than content with Angelou being the voice actor for this one. She didn’t add anything that I couldn’t add by myself reading a paperback or hardcover. In fact, I think I could have read it more entertaining, granted she’s definitely up their in age when she’s recording this. She did have moments where I could tell from her inflections that she was smiling in her remembrance, but it didn’t hit the mark. I blame the voice for a reason why I zoned in and out.
Autobiographies have always been interesting for me. Telling about a life, you need to pick and choose anecdotes. I was unsure of why she picked some of the ones that she did. A prime example is why she chose to talk about the one where she was taking liquor from Baxter’s cabinet and was giving it to children around the neighborhood. Not exactly sure what that was supposed to show between Baxter and Angelou. I’m not sure what she was trying to show in growth characters or relationship. It was a miss for me in that scene. The other anecdotes showed that Baxter was determined to win back Angelou, but also showcases exactly why Baxter sent Angelou and her brother away to be raised by their grandmother.
I understand the book was about the relationship of Angelou and Baxter, but I would have liked to have seen more. It seems like Angelou’s brother, Bailey was insanely present at the beginning, but then thrown in at the end. He’s gone for discs and discs, and then all of a sudden we get, maybe, one track. A couple minutes. I think it would be better to see a comparison and contrast-ison between Baxter and Angelou and Angelou and her son. He seemed to be pretty vacant in her story. I think it would have added more depth.
I wish I had read other Angelou books, like I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. I hear such great praises about that book. Maybe I should read more Angelou and not judge completely on this book. Boom. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m definitely going to take a mini break before taking another Angelou book up, but I’ll come back to her.
My rating and why: I give it three stars, maybe two and a half. While her story is a good one, there could have been so much more. I enjoyed the relationship between the two, but I just wanted more. This isn’t going to keep me from reading other works of hers, but I’m just not satiated. There’s such a hype around Angelou, but I was let down.
So! What Angelou would you recommend I read? Have you read any of her books? Did you read this one? What’s your take on autobiographies? Let me know in the comments below. Like. Comment. Follow. New book review to come tomorrow.
Until next time my fellow bibliophiles!