Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Book Review: The Love You Save

What day of the week is it? Who knows! I keep telling my family that it feels like Friday, everyday is feeling like Friday, so I have no idea what is even going on anymore. What I do know is that this is now the second day in a row that I've kind of forced myself to get dressed, try to look like a functioning adult, and I think that's helping. Also, I bought some new pants and the fact they are the same size as I was at my biggest isn't getting me down. I'm just happy to now own two pairs that fit me, lets just hope they don't shrink in the wash. Now I just need shirts, but I'm poor, so baggy hoodies it is! Anyways, lets talk books. 

The Love You Save - Goldie Taylor

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings meets Educated in this harrowing, deeply hopeful memoir of family, faith and the power of books—from acclaimed journalist and human rights activist Goldie Taylor 
Aunt Gerald takes in anyone who asks, but the conditions are harsh. For her young niece Goldie Taylor, abandoned by her mother and coping with trauma of her own, life in Gerald’s East St. Louis comes with nothing but a threadbare blanket on the living room floor. 
But amid the pain and anguish, Goldie discovers a secret. She can find kinship among writers like James Baldwin and Toni Morrison. She can find hope in a nurturing teacher who helps her find her voice. And books, she realizes, can save her life.  

Goldie Taylor's debut memoir shines a light on the strictures of race, class and gender in a post–Jim Crow America while offering a nuanced, empathetic portrait of a family in a pitched battle for its very soul.

Profoundly moving, exquisitely rendered and ultimately uplifting, The Love You Save is a story about hidden strength, perseverance against unimaginable odds, the beauty and pain of girlhood, and the power of the written word. 
Wow. If you are doing any reading challenges that are asking for a memoir, let this be the one you pick. Today is actually its book birthday so go to your local bookstore and pick this one up. It isn't very long, 277 pages, but WOW. 

As a white woman, who was once a white little girl in the public school system in a rather poor neighborhood, I have absolutely no idea what life would have been like for Goldie Taylor, and this book was eye opening for me in so many ways. I try hard to learn the things I do not know and I'm coming to realize that no matter how hard I try or how much I learn, I will never get to the end. I'm sad about that, but that doesn't mean I'm going to quit. 

In The Love You Save, Goldie's father is brutally murdered, her brother is beaten and robbed, and if that isn't enough, Goldie's mother moves them to a mostly white neighborhood, which, in the 1970's, was bound to be difficult on all of them. Most of all anyone being sent into the school system because children are assholes. They can be sweet and loving, but we all know children are assholes when the adults leave. Goldie is then raped, her mother isn't the support she needs, so she is moved yet again. Her entire upbringing is a serious of chaotic moments, and at times dangerous, and we have this little girl trying to walk around all of it. The entire story is harrowing and that is really putting it lightly. 

I will say the times where they are left alone for long hours because mom is at work, I know what that feels like. I can't be mad at my mom, we have to have money to pay for an apartment and food, but man. It would have been nice to have a mom who wasn't so stressed out and tired. Or have a mom that would take us to cool after school events like the other kids. I'm not mad at her, as a mom of four myself I absolutely get it. I also found a home in my school work, and the few teachers who saw me and saw what I needed. Honestly, thank god for them, really. I am so grateful Goldie had those same kinds of teachers because without that, the entire course of her life could have been wildly different. 

If you are focusing on specific books for Black History Month, The Love You Save should absolutely be on that list. I know it's the end of January but this might actually be my memoir of the year. Sorry, Prince Harry. 

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for having me on this tour and sending me a copy for review. This one has made a mark on my heart. 

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