Note: I got a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review, which reads as follows:
Title: Molding my Destiny
Author: Patrice M. Foster
Publisher: Smashwords Edition
Release Date: December 18th, 2016
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Pages: 189 (eBook)
(As read on Goodreads):
Molding My Destiny is Patrice M Foster’s story of overcoming depression. Her Journey from rock bottom and back determine to beat the odds. She forge ahead not only surviving to thriving through forgiveness, acceptance and determination healing begin. Her memoir details her battle through poverty, neglect, and abuse. You can plunge to the depths, forever swallowed by the darkness of depression. Or, you can climb out inch by agonizing inch and survive…and even thrive.
My First Thoughts:
I don’t read a lot of memoirs, or nonfiction in general unless the topic really intrigues me. However, I’ve been trying really hard to expand the shelves on this site so that I can attract all sorts of people to my blog and let them leave with something different to read. So when the author approached me with this book I wanted to read it and I wanted to help her get her story out there.
WARNING! This story is not for the faint of heart. It mentions things such as rape, parent/family abandonment, depression, anorexia, prostitution, racism, homelessness, wrongful imprisonment, etc. If any of these topics bother you, read at your own risk!
Some of you may be wondering why I stated the warning above, it’s because this book is very real. There’s no sugar coating things. There’s no glitter to make bad situations less horrific to read. Yes, things aren’t overly explicit, but there are enough details there to make the mood very real for the reader. And because of that, this book was very hard for me to read at times.
For the most part, this book was an interesting read and very insightful into Ms. Patrice’s life. I can’t really say that I enjoyed reading the book. I don’t mean that in a negative way, this book had a lot of advice and powerful messages for young women, minorities, etc. But it’s like I can’t say that I enjoy reading books about the Holocaust, mass shootings, or the history of slavery. This book, like those things, was very depressing to read and it made me really want to reach out to the author and scream at the world for being unfair. There are happy moments in this book, but they are greatly overshadowed by the misery and darkness that has followed Ms. Patrice throughout her life.
My main complaints about this book are the timeline and the pacing. For the most part the author went in chronological order. However, there were times in which she would go off a tangent that would take the readers away into the future from where the story actually was. Sometimes this was fine when a person doesn’t get mentioned again after that point, it gives the reader closure for them. But most of the time it would be about future events that could have been placed later into the book just fine. By occasionally going back and forth between distant past and not so distant past, it can make it hard for the reader to follow and keep up with where they are in the timeline. One thing that might help this book is a more structured timeline, for instance heading off a new passage as May of 1998 if what happens in that section occurs in May of 98’. That way, readers aren’t so confused on where they are in the timeline and the author can go off on tangents without fear of losing them.
My other complaint was the pacing. Most of the pacing issues I had were because of the back and forth of the timeline. But there were times when the author would spend a great deal of time in one area of the story, and then briefly glance over a part of equal or more value. I understand that this may be due to limitations in memory, but it messed with the flow of the story some. Also, I felt like this story ended like a chapter before it did because Ms. Patrice made this wonderful speech about how she overcame her adversities, how she changed as a person and why, and just gave a lot of insightful comments about life for the reader to take away and then there was the last chapter. I felt that after reading that speech, the last chapter kind of fell short of its intended mark, and the real ending to her memoir was less powerful than the speech before.
Overall, though this book is an interesting read and I’m glad to have read it!
This book is not for the faint of heart, I cannot stress this enough! Molding my Destiny contains a rape scene, neglect, parent/family abandonment, abuse, poverty, depression, and anorexia. If any of the listed themes disturbs you or makes you uncomfortable, please read at your own risk. Molding my Destiny is a real dark, but true story about the author’s life from her childhood in Jamaica through her years growing up in America until now. While there are many light and positive moments described in the book, the overall mood is depressing and can be a downer. So if you’re impacted greatly by what you read or aren’t looking for something depressing to read, this book might not be for you. If you loved collecting quotes or inspirational pieces you’ll find them here!
The only problem I had with this book was issues in structure, which is completely understandable for a first time author. If the author does decide to edit this book, the issues can be easily fixed. Otherwise, it’s a pretty good read full of life lessons and inspirational quotes.