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Queen Bee: Reflections on Life and Other Rude Awakenings Paperback – January 25, 2016
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Fiction is one thing, but a person writing memoir has to be able to find the right balance; they have to contend not only with the truth as they remember it, but with the feelings and opinions of still living family members. Given her circumstances you might imagine that she'd write a rather dark tale. Her writing, however, is a testament--not to suffering--but to just how resilient human beings can be. In that sense, it's triumphant. Oh, and did I mention that she's also funny?
Andy Weinberger, proprietor of Readers' Books, Sonoma, California
We have no say in the kind of hand we are dealt, but we do have some say in how we play the cards. You do it beautifully and with grace, transforming your experiences into personal assets that not only contribute to the quality of your own life, but to all with whom you come into contact, including me. LeRoy Chatfield, Syndic Literary Journal
From the Author
Catherine (Clemens) Sevenau, the author of Queen Bee: Reflections on Life and Other Rude Awakenings and Passages from Behind These Doors: A Family Memoir, is an irreverent humorist and an astute storyteller. Queen Bee is a compilation of her blog posts, ruminations on Facebook, and a number of new and older stories not yet published. She has also compiled five volumes on her family genealogy, works until wee hours of the morning managing nearly 7,000 pages forancestors and kin on the Find A Grave website, co-hosts Random Acts, a monthly open mic at Readers' Books in Sonoma, California, and is a longtime Broker/Owner/REALTOR in the Sonoma Valley.
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But there is much more to it than those aspects: there is passion, insight, philosophy, history, and heart-wrenching honesty. Sevenau bears her soul in this work, revealing a person who has come to terms with what life had done for her and not done to her. Each of the lessons she learned through a long engagement with the troubles of life led her to this point—to share what we all have experienced in the troubled nature of family. No family goes unscathed by trouble---it is the nature of family, the nature of life itself. Sevenau captures this beautifully in very fine, readable prose that jumps out at you when you read it. The themes of her book are universal: love, compassion, learning, regret, and sorrow---the list reads like a Faulknerian novel. The depth of loss in her life also struck me, almost Poe-like. It is no wonder she has a fascination with the dead. The death of friends and family by several means becomes a major elevator of her consciousness---something she reveals to us in bulb flash moments of writing that rivals the best of essayists. I highly recommend the read.
The book is a perfect Mother's Day gift for moms and grandmoms alike. Chock-full of wisdom, comedy, and modern life from a woman who has truly faced down daunting odds and survived with a wisdom and balance the rest of us admire and enjoy. I think you'll feel you've met not only a survivor but someone who thrives in joy.
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delightful reading.Read more