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~All of Me~

by Venise Berry

Heroine: abundant

          

          Television news reporter Serpentine Williamson is making the arduous climb up the slippery slope to mental and emotional balance after a nervous breakdown and a suicide attempt.

 

          Meetings with a psychiatrist lead her to begin keeping a journal, where she records her thoughts on the various  influences on her life and her choice to embrace whatever messages they have sent to her, no matter how unhealthy or unkind those messages have been.

 

          But with her eyes now opened wide to the patterns in her life, Serpentine begins to carve out a new identity for herself, one that belongs strictly to her, that owes nothing to no one: not society, her family, her job, or men.

 

What worked for me:

          

            The story gives readers an abundance of social issues to reflect upon: suicide, racism, sexism, and sizeism.  Yet despite the gravity of these subjects, there was a lot of dark humor in this book, particularly in the journal entries which opened each chapter.  In many cases, they were the brightest gems in this story.           

 

            Size-wise we saw Serpentine at different times in her life, and each time she was a different size: average, voluptuous, abundant; but no matter what number graced the tags in her clothes, she was struggling to love herself.

 

What didn't work for me:

           

             The jumping around in time could be a bit confusing, but the little vignettes of Serpentine's life over the years were fascinating and really helped to make her painfully real.

 

              The novel felt a bit preachy in a few spots, but for the most part the messages were discreetly filtered into the book.

      

Overall:

              "All of Me" has a touching, powerful message wrapped up in an attractive package and is well worth searching out.

 

Warning: there are some coarse words and sexual scenarios in this book.

 

If you liked "All of Me" you might also enjoy "The Way It Is", "The High Price of a Good Man", "Good in Bed", "Jemima J.", "The Fat Friend", "Commitments", "Etta Mae's Little Theory", or the "Odelia Grey" series.

Have you read this book and have a comment to make on it? Join a discussion about the book at the Dangerous Curves forum or submit a review to this website

 

 

Good-bye, Mom.

I love you and will miss you forever.

 

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