cover image Blood: A Memoir

Blood: A Memoir

Allison Moorer. Da Capo, $27 (320p) ISBN 978-0-306-92268-8

In this beautiful, heart-wrenching memoir, country music singer-songwriter Moorer describes how her life changed at 14 when her father shot her mother and himself dead in their front yard in Mobile, Ala. In lyrical prose, Moorer earnestly confronts an early childhood in the 1970s spent tiptoeing around a violent, alcoholic father, hiding behind a protective older sister (Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Shelby Lynne) who was “always too close to the middle of things,” and reaching out to her beloved mother: “[Moorer’s father] got between us when I was a girl, and he gets between us now, taking up all the space and spreading over my memories of her like coffee spilled on a white tablecloth.” But there were flickers of happiness when the family made music together. In single-page chapters scattered throughout, Moorer meditates on objects of her childhood, like her mother’s coffee cups and her father’s battered 1964 B-25 Gibson guitar, which Moorer plays on all of her records. Three decades after the crime, the sisters continue to make music together to get through their lives, always harmonizing: “I dip when she dives, I go under to catch her, she hovers above to lift me.” Moorer’s masterful, comforting storytelling may serve as solace for those who’ve faced abuse, a signal for those in it to get out, and an eye-opener for others. [em](Oct.) [/em]