SHOW ME THE WAY: A Memoir in Stories

Jennifer Lauck, Author . Atria $24 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7434-7638-6

Lauck tells of her struggle to raise her children and come to terms with the circumstances of her own harrowing upbringing in short, captivating stories alternating between past and present. This is Lauck's third book, and it focuses less on her past than did Blackbird and its follow-up, Still Waters . The author recaps her life in snippets related to her present status as a wife and mother of two children. Her childhood was hard, to say the least: her mother died when she was seven, her father when she was nine, and her brother committed suicide in her first year of college; yet she's levelheaded and conscientious about the way her past will play out in relation to raising children. At one point she describes her labor—"A deep pain digs at my back and catches my breath. I want to keep looking back, but I can't anymore"—essentially summing up her theory that it's important not to endow children with parental history. Lauck is not self-indulgent and does not invoke pity; she does, however, command respect and provide inspiration as she honestly continues to teach herself how to be a mother, all the while fighting to listen to intuition. Through this exploration of motherhood, she ends up teaching readers something about raising children, keeping in mind that no matter how hard a parent tries to prevent it, a child is inevitably affected by his or her parents' past. Agent, Molly Friedrich. (On sale Apr. 6)

Forecast: Lauck has received media coverage not only for her acclaimed memoirs but also because of her relatives' claim that Blackbird distorted the truth about her childhood. Whether or not this new book will stir up controversy is uncertain, but it's bound to be a strong seller.

Reviewed on: 03/22/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4391-0846-8
Paperback - 275 pages - 978-0-7434-7639-3
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