Monday, May 30, 2011

"In the Mirror" by Ann Carbine Best

It's not very often a memoir is written that compares favorably to two of the best memoirs I've ever read: Lost In America by Sherwin Nuland and Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. Ann Carbine Best's In the Mirror shares the best qualities of each: honesty, candor, superior writing, shocking truths, and emotional depth that won't allow you to stop reading.

Best's prose reflects the shocks life continually deals her, shocks that would numb any person to her own feelings. Not one, not two, but three battles she has to fight, any one of which could defeat her. But her bravery, her Mormon faith, her willingess to love even those who seemingly do not love her, carries her to victory. Her stoicism in the face of adversity, her turbulent emotions held in check, permeate every sentence.

"I got home from work and found Larry talking on the phone. He looked startled when he saw me." So begins the bizarre saga of her marriage. The candor of her emotions is heartbreaking. The coldness of some of those she loves filters subtly through the narrative. Despite the odds against her, she never gives up. "I think I'm getting used to saying goodbye to people I love." Ann's life is one of constant deception, but she handles it with charity and forgiveness, and in the end she can say, "It was a beautiful day, the sky almost cloudless and so blue that I thought if I looked hard enough I might see my face reflected in it."

In the Mirror reflects Ann Best's life clearly--a bittersweet life you'll never forget.

In the Mirror is published by WiDo Publishers and is available on
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