. . . crisp, witty, honest, and specific essays comprise her memoir, Confessions of a Not-So-Good Catholic Girl. Deanna's a good storyteller, but she also has some things to tell us about living. "It's not where you live, it's knowing where you belong... and sometimes, it takes most of our lives to realize where that somewhere is... I actually belong right where I started in the first place." This author of Rock 'n Roll and the Cleveland Connection accomplishes what a memoir is meant to accomplish -- connection with the reader by telling the story of a life while showing us the lessons learned along the way. Like any good story, the protagonist changes, in this case from a girl who so badly misbehaved her mother sent her to an all-girls school to a woman whose grown daughters are given a list of instructions in the essay, "What I Want to Tell My Children." The words are tight and descriptive and solid. She describes the house she grew up in as a center of activity: "a stream of cats and kids would drift in and out of our house like Eagle Stamp Day at the May Company." And, on poker night relatives would come in the door "with arms full of penny jars and brown paper sacks of long-necked beer bottles and mason jars of caramel-colored liquor." The stories are lively and the pace is brisk. She knows how to move a story along. An accomplished essayist, Adams flavors her work with metaphors like "runs smoothly through my grandmother's side like fine whiskey." One of my favorite quotes is: "Funny, in childhood, we impulsively act on emotion. We feel like skipping, we skip... we must say and do what's expected of us, and oftentimes, lose ourselves in the process. The child, and that freedom, is gone. Usually never to return. If we're lucky, though, we come to realize that to be truly happy we have to be who we are, and true to our spirit--the authentic person inside us... I was yet to learn all this as a naïve, badly behaved, and confused fourteen-year-old Catholic hippie girl living in a Greaser world." Buy it for any woman over 40. Or anyone who knows what it's like to grow up in a small town . . . has parents who divorced, or is a parent whose sleep is disturbed by "Sense of Dread (SOD). . ." --Cool Cleveland, September 21, 2009
About the Author
Deanna R. Adams is a freelance writer, essayist, and author. Her articles and essays have been published in a variety of publications, including the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Northern Ohio Live, Ohio Magazine, and Lake Erie Living magazine. Her first book, Rock n Roll and the Cleveland Connection, published by Kent State University Press, was named a 2003 finalist for the Ohioana Award for nonfiction, and for excellence in research for the 2003 ARSC Awards (Association for Recorded Sound Collections). Deanna is an instructor at Lakeland Community College, The Lit Center in Cleveland, and is director/founder of the Women Writers Winter Retreat.