4 out of 4 stars
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Mirror Mirror: A Collection of Memoirs and Stories by Stephanie Hart is a nonfiction book focusing on the author’s life and family history. Each chapter is devoted to a different time in the author’s life. She recalls experiences as a young child through adulthood with emotion and honesty. She also includes stories about her ancestors who immigrated to the United States. Her detailed descriptions of people and places convey her experiences beautifully. She had complicated relationships with her parents. At times, her memories are painful and harsh words from her parents left scars into adulthood.
The author describes her collection of stories as a mixture of real and imagined events. She recalls significant times in her life and conveys how those events made her feel. She has the unique ability to articulate the emotions she felt at those times regardless of how long ago the incident took place. She describes the stories about her ancestors as invented based on their personalities and her knowledge of her family’s history. These stories include realistic descriptions of life in Russia and the hardships experienced immigrating to a new country.
I enjoyed reading each of the stories presented in this book. The author was able to capture the emotions she felt during these times in her life. She takes the time to provide each character with a physical description and a description of the personality. Readers learn immediately from the description whether this relationship is a positive or negative one in the author’s life. When her parents divorce, Hart describes how her life changed. Her father treated her differently, especially after he remarried. Many readers will be able to relate to these stories about families and the struggles they face.
What I liked most about this book is the honesty conveyed by the author. She describes how she felt when her mother used harsh words with her or made her feel like she wasn’t enough. Their relationship was complicated and unpredictable. She described their love for each other; however, she also received insults when she wasn’t the perfect child. There was nothing I disliked about the book. Each chapter is devoted to a separate story from her life. Read together, readers learn about the friends and family that influenced her throughout her life. I especially enjoyed reading the stories about her ancestors and their lives in Russia. It was interesting to learn how they moved to the United States and built lives for themselves.
I saw less than ten errors in this book, so I believe it was professionally edited. I recommend it to readers who enjoy reading short stories focused on complex family relationships. It would also appeal to readers interested in stories about immigration to the United States. The stories about her ancestors were captivating. I give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. Each story was interesting and conveyed the emotions and experiences of the author in an honest way. For that reason, I did not rate it less than a perfect score.
Mirror Mirror: A Collection of Memoirs and Stories
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