Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Length: 143 pages
Published: February 2018

Heart Berries is a brief but powerful memoir written by Terese Marie Mailhot. In this book, she shares her most raw and vulnerable experiences that have made a lasting impact on her life, including her romantic relationships, her relationships with each of her parents, as well as her relationships with her sons. The book's perspective vacillates between the author's thoughts (whether they be in epistolary, essay, or stream of consciousness form) and character dialogue. I found this to be a little complex, at times, making it difficult to focus on each page. Having said that, I found Mailhot to be relatable in the experiences she shared. 

One theme that permeates the book is that of sexual abuse and the negligence her mother demonstrated in dealing with it. I found the portions of the book that focused on this the most difficult to read because it was just so infuriating that Mailhot was not protected as a child should be. Earlier this year, the author was interviewed by Trevor Noah on The Daily Show where she stressed the importance of her searching for and displaying her authentic indigenous voice in her writing. While I found most of her struggles with abuse and her love life to be universal and irrespective of race or ethnicity, I do think she was able to beautifully tell her story in the most poetic way. For example: 
I don't think I am lonely. I think I am starved and maybe ravenous for the very thing you withhold from me. (p. 39)
While I understand we, as the audience, are getting only Mailhot's perspective, I found her boyfriend (and, I believe, now husband) Casey to be a complete jerk. He was not a very likable presence in the book, and I was actually shocked to learn they are still together. I was also a bit disappointed that she misspelled Salvador Agron's name in her historic detail. 

Overall, this was an interesting book. I can understand why it's a bestseller. I am thankful for the opportunity to have read and review it, and many thanks to my local Fort Worth Library for the digital loan! 

Recommendation: I think this is a great read for most adults, but I think it would resonate with women more than any other demographic. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful. 


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