5/3/16

The Shelf Life of Ashes


The Shelf Life of Ashes: a memoir  by Hollis Giammatteo. Berkeley:She Writes Press, 2016. 255 pages. ***

Hollis Giammatteo is on a mission to find The Map of Aging Well and what better way than to work and assist the aged. The results aren't exactly what she expected, each person has their own way of coping and living their life. Complicating Hollis' life is her mother who is convinced she is dying and constantly calling Hollis home for one last visit. Never quite feeling like she belongs, Hollis looks for her biological mother to understand why she was given up for adoption. All of these situations and feelings compel her to look for a way to grow older in a way different than her role models.

This memoir is an honest, perceptive and realistic look at the aging process and how end-of-life plans can go awry. Is there a Map or Plan that works? Hollis does her best to try and find one. A poignant portrayal of a mother-daughter relationship whether it is a biological or an adopted one. Adoption insecurities plague her job choices and relationships. A thought provoking read and provides many discussion points for a woman's reading group.

I received an Advance Reader Copy from BookSparks for a review.

Following her conventional education (a BA in Fine Arts with a minor in theater; an MA in English), Hollis Giammatteo moved to Philadelphia where, with a college chum, she founded, managed, and wrote plays for The Wilma Theater.  It is thriving, still. She moved west in '79, hungry in that conventional way for all it promised---big nature: mountains, sea, and sky ---and has called Seattle home since then. This is her first published memoir.

@BookSparks #truthordare #adoption

1 comment:

Hollis giammatteo said...

I appreciate your thoughtful commentary/review of my memoir, "The Shelf Life of Ashes." If I weren't so familiar with the tale, I would be very tempted to read this rich life melange. Thanks.

Hollis G