Best Memoir I’ve Read This Year!!

The plastic bag sat in the parcel tray of my mailbox, the raining pouring down just millimetres away.  Once inside and dried off the package was opened revealing my copy of Geoff Le Pard’s much anticipated memoir ‘Apprenticed to My Mother’.

I flicked the book open, reading title, sub-title, flick again, copyright, published by….  flick, Introduction,  I begin reading this.  I read on.  Chapter one, chapter two, three, four.  The chapters are short, pithy, poignant, honest, vulnerable, loving.  Tears welled in my eyes but I am completely unable to stop reading, until I am interrupted first by the door bell and then the pets needs to be fed.  I tend to the interruptions quickly and return to reading until the gathering gloom of this wintery day’s mid-afternoon makes it too dark to see.

I attend to my life, but am keen to finish my day early and,as the rain continues to batter the ground, to take myself off to my cosy bed, book in hand and settle in for a couple or three uninterrupted hours.

Over the past year or two Geoff had posted little bits and pieces of this story on his blog and I felt quite familiar with much of what I was reading.  But still, the unfolding story ontinued to capture my attention.  Here is the mutual love story of two people.  She builds him up, she cares for his every need, ensures he feels like the man he aspires to be.  He writes her love poems.  They clash, they work it out, they raise two boys.  She ensures her boys will go out into the world more able to care for themselves than her husband ever could.

As Geoff tells us in the introduction, the book is necessarily also about his father.  It is about his parents relationship, but also about his relationship with them – separately and together.  It’s not detailed, it’s snippets that we pick up as the final years of his mother are told through their interactions.

It’s a peek into a way of life, a family that functions and revolves around the mother.  A real person, a woman who loves, who cares, who rules with a fist of iron,  A woman who, having put herself second all her married life, on becoming a widow firmly and sweetly gets life the way she wants it after all.

It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s tender and kind and heart-wrenchingly honest at times.

I laughed, smiled, and blinked away tears as I made my way through this memoir.

As someone who grew up outside of a functioning family it was a healing balm and quite honestly I loved it,  I hope you might too.

*Here’s a link to the Amazon kindle copy

**Here’s a link to Geoff’s blog

113 thoughts on “Best Memoir I’ve Read This Year!!

  1. While I’ve not read this book (or Geoff’s blog), I’ve read books that have captivated me to the point that I have read all day and all night. Your description of the anticipation, the process of reading, and the stopping to deal with life’s demands before returning to the book are on point.
    Perhaps I’ll add this to my list.
    It’s so nice to be visiting blog this evening! It’s been toooooo long! XO

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful review, Pauline. Geoff has such a great story-telling voice, and I love his sense of humor. I have one of his books waiting in my kindle, and now the pressure is on to read it so I can get to this one. I love it when books evoke emotions and it sounds like this one was a hit across the board. Congrats to Geoff for the winning book. Thanks, Pauline, for the recommendation and the push! ❤

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  3. Oh, it sounds wonderful, Pauline. What a good review you’ve written! The cover looks so interesting, too. Thanks for sharing about another good book I need to read.

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  4. I hope this copies and pastes o.k. :o) My Amazon review-

    Customer Review
    5.0 out of 5 stars-“You won’t regret reading”
    ByEliz~ July 15, 2018
    Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I laughed, I cried, and I really enjoyed this book so much.
    It is a fast read, you won’t want to put it down.
    I grew up at the same time, so I enjoyed reading about a Mother who was a lot like the Mothers I knew of that time. (my mother had no sons and was a different kind of mom ;o)
    Geoff is the kind of son any Mother would be proud to have.
    After reading I have the utmost respect and admiration for his mother Barbara.
    I think his family is delightful and he writes about his Mother, his Father, his family with such love.
    Aren’t “ordinary” people really the foundation of the world? Which truly makes them unsung heroes to me

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I finished the book yesterday. My review on Amazon was the first review. I don’t think you can see it unless you are in America. Here you can only get the Kindle version, so I’m grateful I found it at all! Thank You Pauline! Geoff maybe you can help me buy a few for friends?
    (p.s. I love your name Pauline! My Mom’s best friends name was Pauline. Her parents were from Greece. We were so close to her all her life. I called her my Aunty Lena. I named my 10 year old son after her. His name is Paul. I think all “Paulines” must be very special :o)

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    • Oh, thank you very much – no-one has ever said they like my name before! I’m not even particularly fond of it! I think it is wonderful that you have such warm memories to accompany the name – it makes a real difference doesn’t it. When I was in Italy I was called Paolina which I loved!

      You didn’t say, but I hope you enjoyed the book. Geoff will be pleased, I’ll try and remember to remind him to pop over again and help you out – I’m sure he will be happy to!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Apprentice to my mother is the best momoire I have ever read . It has really touched my heart, I am not good at reviews but I gave this lovely book the best one I could manage 💜🌹

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  7. Pingback: There Are Reviews And Then Some…. #ATTM #apprenticedtomymother | TanGental

  8. My copy is on my iPad waiting patiently to be read. As you did, I have read snippets on Geoff’s blog and am looking forward to reading it all together. He must be mightily chuffed with your glowing review. If I hadn’t already decided to read it, you would have convinced me I should.

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  9. What a wonderful review. It’s so nice when you come across a book that you really can get into and love. Will have to check this out.

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  10. Your review is compelling, Pauline! You don’t just tell us that you love the book but give us reasons why so we can know that, if we love the same things you do, we’ll enjoy the book as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do you remember how much I loved Dead Flies? This is better. I know it’s different….. I think you are getting the hang of this writing lark 🙂 I love that its not sentimental and that it’s real and it’s got so much untold and yet revealed when you think about it…… Please feel free to strut it about however you like, except not a tattoo – think of the saggy skin (shudder)

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  11. I could only get the Kindle which I hate. But after reading your review it will be well worth it! I have many children. (birth/adopted) 10 are boys. A mother son relationship is very complicated. Especially as mothers change and grow. My youngest birth son is 14, We are very close. I had him at 47. Altho I may not live long enough to get old with him, I can imagine!
    Thank You!

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    • ’10 are boys’ !! That is a lot of children – and you didn’t reveal the number of girls. I am terribly impressed and awed really. I was a teacher for many years and have weathered many class camps with numbers between 25 – 28 and was always exhausted at the end 🙂 Now your memoir would be really interesting – thanks so much for coming by!

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      • 21 children :o) 4 birth ages 14,37, 39,42. (had my first at 19) And 17 adopted now ages 10 – 42. We also run a group home for up to 4 adults with disabilities. People always tell me to write a book! No time! 10 are boys and 11 are girls :o) 3 of the kids are in Heaven. (1 birth daughter, 2 adopted daughters)
        A teacher! Wonderful! I homeschool. I buy curriculum workbooks for the kids without special needs, and write teaching plans for the 5 special needs.
        I’ve been lurking here ;o) Found you at Nanna Cathy’s.
        I’m on chapter 5 of the book! Absolutely delightful! Very well written! Off to read more!

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        • Well, welcome and I’m glad to chat with you! You are doing wonderful work! The world needs more people like you. I remain surprised you have time to read though 🙂 I’m glad to hear you are enjoying the book, you are right, it’s very well written and I love those short chapters too,

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  12. I just had it delivered to my tablet. It’s the easiest way for me to read and I love memoir. I don’t have enough reading time for all that I want but his will go to the top of the list. I love to stop by his blog but for me, something gets lost in translation. I don’t always understand the colloquial expressions the British use so a lot gets lost. I’m too embarrassed to ask what a sentence means. It’s English, for goodness sake. How can I not understand it? If I get stuck, I send you a note and you can translate for me. Thanks for sharing how much you liked it.

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    • I am bilingual in English and American Marlene – and I never thought that was an adjective that could be used by me 🙂 Often it’s the humour too – they are two very different things! I’d love to translate if you ever get stuck and I’d love to hear what you think of it too.

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    • Hi Marlene. My family don’t understand me half the time so please, if it’s not clear then you won’t be the only one wondering what on Earth I’m saying. Do please ask, Ill be delighted to explain. Though sometimes the explanations are worse… but hey, that’s just an excuse to keep corresponding. Oh and Kiwi English is as impenetrable as British English. It’s the lack of indigenous mammals, I believe.

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      • You do always make me laugh. I have family in Australia so I do know what you mean. After emigrating from Germany, it was hard to understand anything they said. My poor mother never understood American jokes. It’s the colloquial expressions. I’ve finished chapter one last night. I’ll keep you posted.

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