Wow. Full of Raw Emotion
4.5 out of 5 stars
Listen Mama is one of those titles that I wouldn’t normally pick up without knowing much about it. Sadly, that’s one of the problems that a memoir has. One way they can draw you in (outside of being a celebrity) is through the cover.
I have to say that at first glance, this cover grabbed my attention — but I wasn’t sure why. I can feel the artist trying to tell me something. And I think that’s what you’re me to it. It has this sentence that there’s so much more going on below the surface. I just felt like I needed to know Manny’s story just from the cover alone. Another way that a memoir will get some traction is to be nominated for an award… and an Audie is probably the creme de la creme of those. Knowing that it was up it in the memoir category really made picking this one up easy.
Diving into it, I was surprised at the amount of emotion and raw… feeling that Williams was able to get out of it. Not just from their journey but the tone of the book. That’s hard to do.
I am in no way want to take away from the story that Williams is telling here but dealing with mental health and family is one of the most difficult and frustrating things that anybody can deal with. I think he was able to talk about all of the difficulties that come with it and tell a unique story of his life in a way that made this a very interesting story to listen to.
Overall I enjoyed listening to this book on audio, the performance was excellent. And definitely took a book that was already very good and made it even better. I love when a narrator is able to do that. And it doesn’t happen all the time. It’s pretty easy to see where this book was nominated for an Audie.
I think JD Jackson’s style matched perfectly with Williams’ ability to tell a story. A true story of that. It’s nice when an author and a narrator are able to mesh like this and tell an even better version of the original story.
I’m really glad that I picked this one up and if you’re looking for a tail that’s almost unbelievable but you also know it’s true definitely check this one out.
Through a series of letters at times heart-breaking, poetic, and unexpectedly humorous, come explore this true teen and young adult journey of a lost soul searching for the love of his mentally ill mother. While facing seemingly insurmountable odds, Manny ultimately becomes her caretaker and guardian while also parenting his four younger siblings in 1990’s Houston, Texas.
Witness his transformation in this coming-of-age story of a forgotten and disfigured black child, born into spirit-crushing poverty, and thrust into adult life all too soon. Manny’s teen years are spent battling the silent and treacherous enemy of mental illness in his mother’s erratic and terrifying behavior. Years of bullying and abuse finally take their toll, and Manny soon finds himself at war with his own demons of depression, anxiety, and suicide attempts as he struggles to find his place in the world, and the true meaning of unconditional love.
Experience this inspirational story of loss, faith, love, and redemption that is guaranteed to bring forth both tears and laughter, heartache and happiness, as it captures your imagination, ignites your soul, and soon has you racing from page to page, breathlessly waiting to discover what happens next …
“His descriptive writing has humor and heart…” –AudioFile Magazine
“As dramatic as it is heartbreaking.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Even though the book has heartbreak, it has happiness and humor. YA readers will love this moving memoir.” –ReaderViews, Reviewer’s Choice Silver Award
“LISTEN MAMA authentically details the sliding scale of hopes and frustration.” –IndieReader, Starred review
“Warmly likable man doing his utmost to struggle through more tragedy and bad luck than any human being should be handed.” –BookLife Reviews
“Young adult (and many an adult) readers will find LISTEN MAMA a thoroughly absorbing story.” –Midwest Book Review
“A devastating coming-of-age memoir about the impact of a mother’s mental illness on her son.” –Clarion Foreword Reviews
Narrator: JD Jackson
Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins
Published by Self Published on June 15th 2021
Genres: Children's, Memoir
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