2 out of 4 stars
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Thomas Mayes is a retired military veteran and a retired police lieutenant. He has also worked several other jobs that have allowed him to meet various people. He achieved all he did despite the squalor and traumatic conditions he had to deal with as a child. As a grown man, there were still a few bumps on the road. He had to heal from many instances of betrayal, lies, and family pain. The people he loved the most were the ones who gave him the most pain. In From the Womb to the Tomb, Thomas Mayes takes readers down memory lane of both painful and good times. In this tell-all book, the author shows readers just how he had to survive not just life’s hurdles but family trauma too.
My favorite thing about this book was that Thomas Mayes started from the beginning to tell his and his family’s story. He dedicated chapters to his grandparents, which allowed me to go to the root of his family tree and see just how much his family, especially his mother, suffered. This approach gave more background and context to his later life stories, so I was not too confused by the various names I came across. The photos at the end of the book improved my imagination, but they would have been better if interspersed.
This book is filled with drama and shade! I laughed out loud at many points. But I found it wrong that Thomas Mayes never took responsibility for his wrongdoings. He kept mentioning all the wrong things that many family members did to him but would not acknowledge that he did anything. When he explained something he did wrong, including cheating on his wives or letting his temper get the best of him, he would say it matter-of-factly without acknowledging the emotional pain it must have caused the other party. Glossing over his shortcomings and his apparent lack of remorse did not make Thomas endearing. I began to dislike his ways at some point.
The author’s story felt disorganized. I started out appreciating the glimpse into his family. But later on, there were chapters dedicated to different people in the author’s life with no clear timeframe. Also, I felt that dedicating chapters to different people in his life was out of sorts. An autobiography is supposed to tell the author’s story and not give exposés on other people. These chapters were also often contradictory. After explaining the awful things a person did to him, the author would say that he would not forgive them, only to turn around and say that he wishes them nothing but the best. All of these inconsistencies increased my confusion.
It was disconcerting that I found several errors in the book. The author also repeated a few stories in the same way, which I felt was unnecessary. This book could have been shorter than it currently is. I did not glean any life lessons from the author’s story, but I was thoroughly entertained by the drama. I believe, from the description of this book that I read, that Thomas Mayes did not intend for a book about his past to be entertaining but moving and motivating instead. So I recommend using a professional editor to help with the errors and tone of this book. People who like autobiographies of people overcoming trauma will appreciate a properly edited copy of From the Womb to the Tomb. Currently, my rating is 2 out of 4.
From. The womb. To. The. Tomb
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