• Paperback: 254 pages
• Publisher: Apprentice House Press (July 1, 2016)
In this layered collage of memory within memory, Hale recreates for readers her kaleidoscopic experience of a decades-long journey to acceptance and insight. Writer, prodigal daughter, single parent, Buddhist disciple, and, late in midlife, a newlywed, she is transformed through an unconventional relationship with a female spiritual teacher and an odd ritual of repeated tattooing with her two young adult children.
“Christine Hale’s A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice is an exquisite engagement with those tough human questions that must be asked even if they can never be answered. Hale writes toward acceptance, every page brimming with honesty, insight, and deep understanding. A truly beautiful meditation in lovely, lively prose.”~ Dinty W. Moore, author of The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life
Happy Friday!! Today I am pleased to blog my review of A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice: A memoir in four meditations by Christine Hale. I’d like to thank the author, TLC Book Tours and the publisher Apprentice House Press for giving me the chance to review this book in exchange for my honest review of it.
For the past couple of years, I have been trying to make a conscious effort to read more memoirs (especially after discovering that I harbor a secret love for them) and also to read more short story collections. I love memoirs, but this one in particular was pretty different in format from the memoirs that I usually read. The author tells us stories of her life in four meditations, or sections. Within these sections are stories from her life which are also broken up into their own sections that alternate between time frames, people and events.
I wasn’t too much a fan of the writing because I typically like to read memoirs that read pretty much like fiction in tone however, I enjoyed reading this book. It was hard to swallow in some places because some of the topics are pretty heavy like child abuse, spousal abuse, divorce and such but it was a very personal look into the life of a person who has gone through some things and come out on the other side. I found it very honest and affecting; to me it sent the message that we are all human, we can go through trials and we also make mistakes of our own and our journey to be okay with ourselves is affected not only by those trials and mistakes but by the other humans we encounter through them as well. I really loved that the author addressed specific people alot at the end of the sections in which she has written about a certain event in the past or just about that person in general. I found it interesting to be able to glimpse a bit how a person worked through events and people in her past. I loved the symbolism of the tattoo shared between mother and children.
I did somehow think that this book would have a little more about her journey in Buddhism. It definitely included some things like the retreats she would go on to get away from the world and live pretty much in seclusion trying to get in touch with herself and de-stress but there was alot less than I thought there would be. Nevertheless, I really liked this book and appreciated it’s message. When I was reading it, I even thought to myself that I need to start taking time out of my day and meditating to clear my mind and de-stress. I think readers who are interested in memoirs may find something to enjoy here! I am giving this book a 3.5 (I liked it!) star rating.
Happy Weekend Reading everyone!