Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Guest Review: Just Don't Call Me Ma'am

Please welcome today's guest reviewer, my friend and book club buddy, Melissa.  She is originally from Tennessee but lives in Maryland for now.  When I received a copy of this particular book I knew I had to pass it along to her to read - it seemed to be the perfect fit! I hope you enjoy her review!

by Anna Mitchael
248 pages

Just Don't Call Me Ma'am: How I Ditched the South, Forgot My Manners, and Managed to Survive My Twenties with (Most of) My Dignity Still IntactAs I plan the first of many of my summer adventures into New York City, this Southern girl feels the push and pull between my roots and the fabulousness of living close to everything! So Anna Mitchael's journey of self-discovery really hit home with me. The entire title speaks for itself - Just Don't Call Me Ma'am: How I Ditched the South, Forgot My Manners, and Managed to Survive My Twenties with (Most of) My Dignity Still Intact.

Her story begins in 2nd person, which was brilliant. She walked you through the awful break-up discussion we've all had. The memoir is then organized by what Mitchael will answer to. For example, each chapter is entitled, "Call Me a Foodie" or "Call Me a Partner in Cohabitation Crime." Each chapter meanders (and if I'm being honest, wanders a bit) through the mistakes of her twenties and what in her Southern roots caused these problems. Unlike a lot of chick lit, Mitchael doesn't whine about her current pickle; instead, her pithy writing speaks for itself. Exhibit A: "Other people had the kinds of grandmas who baked cookies with you, and grandpas who sat you in their laps  and told inspirational stories about the Great Depression. My grandpa encouraged my success with a plastic Minnie Mouse poolstick" (19). From this one sentence you can feel her mixed emotions about her childhood without a paragraph full of "Why didn't my family blah, blah, blah?"

Exhibit B: She discusses the universal loathing of being a bridesmaid. But in lieu of whining, she says, "Because really, is there anything better than spending a Saturday night in the middle of someone else's family drama? Raising a glass to the happy couple, the stoned younger brother of the bride, the overbearing mother of the groom - it's like being a fly on the wall of someone else's Thanksgiving Day pain" (51).

While the topics may be common chick lit territory, her spin is unique and funny!
In the end, Mitchael does come to a similar "happy to be myself" kind of resolution that most chick lit follows to the letter, but she is a warm, funny writer. And everyone can relate to the simultaneous love/hate relationship with wherever you're from. It's a fun summer read!


softdrink said...

I'm still laughing at the chapter "Call Me a Parnter in Cohabitation Crime." Sounds like me. :-D

Robin McCormack said...

Welcome Melissa. The book sounds like a fun read.

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