This past week, I was honored to have my latest book, Your Turn: Ways to Celebrate Life Through Storytelling, covered by my hometown newspaper, the Seminole Sentinel.
The review, written by Sam Holbrooks, was inspired by my holiday visit to the Gaines County Museum, a few months ago, alongside a pair of other fantastic local authors, Tina Siemens and Claude Spence. The detail, praise and observations Holbrooks had about Your Turn made me elated, and I’m excited to share them with you.
Holbrooks wrote about how Your Turn (and my first book, Where the Water Meets the Sand) is not a simple retelling of my personal narratives, but instead is a book molded by a collection of stories that relate to large thematic life lessons:
“Neither book serves as a strict chronological retelling of Dr. Manning’s life and experiences, but rather they are anecdotal vignettes that move seamlessly to different periods of her life, organized to optimize the impact of lessons learned during a lifetime of struggle and personal triumph.”
Holbrooks also delves into the key function Your Turn provides my readers, encouraging and providing instructions on how you can effectively tell your own stories:
“What distinguishes “Your Turn” is that that brief first chapter, like all 14 chapters in her story, ends with prompts aimed at perspective writers that encourages us to recognize the writer in ourselves, in search of our own stories. Each new chapter is followed by such prompts, with new subjects and new ways to look at the storytelling process. Even without the prompts, the story stands on its own.”
What was also touching about this review was that Holbrooks recognized the true meaning, and depth, of the subtitle, “Ways to Celebrate Life.” While I have been through personal trauma, psychological illness and emotional turmoil, I have learned within those moments about myself and how to become a stronger person through those experiences:
“The words “Ways to Celebrate Life” in the book’s subtitle may seem out of place when much of the book is framed in darkness until we recognize that our darkest times, in retrospect, become a necessary part of who we are as we leave our personal demons behind and walk toward the light. Only then do they become part of life’s celebration.”
Thank you again to the Seminole Sentinel, and Sam Holbrooks, for such an incredible review of my latest work! For full access to the review, please visit www.seminolesentinel.com, and I’ve also included a photo of the review from the print version as well. (below)
What inspired you most about reading Your Turn? And how have you told your life stories to those you love?
© 2020 Tyra Manning