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4.4 out of 5 stars
What The Hell Was I Thinking
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2011
Set during WWII and the post years, "What the Hell Was I Thinking" is a thoroughly enjoyable memoir that at its best creates a wonderful sense of time and place while telling the often funny tale of one woman's crazy life. The author has a natural writing style which immediately transports you to war-torn America and the years thereafter. Reading like a screenplay, this would make an equally enjoyable film. If it's all true, or even half-true, what a life of misadventures and experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 25, 2014
Young women today hardly imagine that there was a time when a "girl" was little more than a piece of property who belonged first to her parents and then to her husband. Independence was a rare commodity for females in the 1950's, but WWII had created one option - the military. Although women in the armed services were subject to harassment and discrimination and still limited to a very few subordinate positions, it WAS a way to get away from home without getting married.

This author was "raised" by two screwed-up people who shouldn't have been allowed to own a dog. They didn't, but they did have three children, of whom Emma was the oldest. The fact that she survived her childhood with her sanity intact is admirable. The fact that she's able to mine so much humor from a tragic situation is miraculous.

It's ironic, but typical, that this grown-up daughter of an abusive father chose to emulate him by joining the Navy. It was the only thing she had ever done that won his approval. At least he didn't tell her that it would "make a man out of her," although that may have been what he was hoping. As bizarre as her experiences in the military were, it DID get her away from home and opened her eyes to new opportunities. And it gave her the confidence she needed to begin to reach her potential.

This woman has written a painfully honest, frequently profane story of a rough life. I'm not sure it belongs in the "Humor" category, although she IS funny. She writes so well and is such an unusual character that I hope she will continue the her story in a follow-up book. I would love to know what happened to her after she married and left the Navy.
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on December 15, 2014
A very funny and enjoyable book that reads true, all her experiences are what can happen in one shape or another to millions of people out there in this world. People that are smart, funny and actually courageous, but because of many little mind bending incidents while growing up that warp perceptions of normalcy they have no reality of how to be a competent strong minded adult . But with much trial and error an open minded smart person can learn from that and continue on to make a better life. This author did just that I admire this woman, if I had known her at this time I know I would have been having a blast being her friend.
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on April 9, 2014
Hilarious. Love this book. Laughed all the way through. Enjoyed the author's humorous take on situations and experiences growing up and during her time as a WAVE.
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on March 28, 2014
I was surprised with this book! I really didn't know what to expect, but what I got was a very entertaining story! There were a few minor editing issues that were easily overlooked. Overall, a nice, easy to read story with humor, a little drama, and a lot of heart!
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on January 24, 2014
Hysterical, Honest and Enjoyable! A real treat to read. You'll laugh to yourself and literally laugh out loud. So happy to have this on my Kindle Fire.
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on May 18, 2013
Thought this was a very good read. Gives quite an insite to women in the service and also into how our lives develop according to the choices we make. Well written with a bit of humor.
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on April 7, 2013
I loved this book more than I really thought I would. I will have to admit I did cry a few times towards the end. This is a great book for anyone who finds themselves in a rut. I guess the moral of the story ( to me) is that life is a glorious ride. Thanks for the story and your service.
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on March 21, 2013
I tend to love biography books, I thought this one read more like a fiction. Just sayng, my opinion only
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This memoir is a must-read, especially for people that enjoy stories about military life. The only thing that I found distracting is that a lot of words were hyphenated that didn't need to be, but othrr than that small detail, this book is an excellent read, and gave me some good ideas for how to structure my own memoir.
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