Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child must work for a living,
But the child that’s born on the Sabbath day,
Is fair and wise and good and gay.
Saturday’s Child by Deborah Burns
In this beautifully written memoir, the author paints a vivid picture of her mother Dorothy and a supporting cast of family members who frequently took center stage in raising Deborah.
Dorothy was glamorous, beautiful, and captured the attention of family, friends and strangers alike. But unfortunately, she was not your typical mother and relinquished most of the day to day motherly tasks to Deborah’s aunts, Lily and Lena.
Deborah’s father, from a large Italian family, married Dorothy who, unbeknownst to him, was significantly younger. He had big dreams and was an aspiring songwriter but with a far from conventional spouse or marriage, he spent a lot of time moving from one deal to the next.
Deborah spent much of her time with her mother seeking her approval and love that always seemed just out of reach. This struggle was a big piece of her memoir and Deborah did a wonderful job of untangling years of family history, secrets, and truths in a seamless telling that spanned multiple generations.
Full disclosure: I do not read a lot of memoirs. For me, often there isn’t a good rhythm and I end up feeling like I am voyeuristically reading someone’s journal.
That was not the case here. Burns was able to tell her story in such a way that it read like a well-written novel with fascinating characters. She successfully captured each person’s personality through her eyes first as a child, then as a teen, adult, and finally as a mother herself.
Some characters, like her aunts, I grew to love. I developed a soft spot for her father. Her mother – my feelings were mixed as a complicated mother/daughter relationship unfolded.
My other issue with memoirs: most of the family members are portrayed in a terrible light. And that’s not to say that there aren’t terrible family members in families because we all have them in our lives.
But Deborah found a way in both the book and in her own life to honor her mother but still use her painful experiences to succeed in her career, her marriage, and as a mother.
I finished this book with a deep admiration for Deborah and for me, that is a sign of an excellent memoir.
This well-written book will make you laugh, cry, and even gasp with surprise – there’s a ransom demand at one point. Seriously.
I read it in a few sittings and enjoyed every moment. And now the Audible version has been released! It is narrated by Deborah and listening to the sample makes me want to download it and listen again. There is something so powerful hearing an author read the words they wrote.
So to celebrate, being the huge fan of audiobooks myself, I’m giving away a free Audible download of Saturday’s Child over on Instagram. Click here to enter! This giveaway closes on May 5th at 11:59 pm CST.