Friday, January 26, 2007

Girls of Tender Age by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith

I have to say, this memoir was much different from the others I have read (not that I have read a ton, mind you) but she pulled it off and it was wonderful.
Mary-Ann tells us the story of her childhood. She mixes in some info on her ancestors, where they came from, etc. Then every couple of chapters she gives us some info on this guy named Bob Malm. Bob seems to be a very bad guy. In the beginning I'm not sure where Bob ties into the story, is he a relative maybe? But then she goes back to telling us stories about what it was like for her to grow up. She grew up in the 1950's in a working class area, didn't have a lot of money at first, oh...and did I mention her brother Tyler? Tyler is called retarded, even though he doesn't seem retarded, he just has some odd, shall we say quirks? Tyler is autistic, but at that time there is no such thing is autistic - nobody has "discovered" that yet. Tyler loves WWII and reads a lot about it and even imitates commanders. Some of those stores are incredibly funny and had me laughing. However it was very hard to grow up with Tyler because of him being autistic.
When Mary-Ann is in the fith grade, we learn how Bob Malm fits into her memoir. He raped and killed one of her classmates. Nobody will talk to the kids about it and she never learns what happens to this girls killer, if he is caught or even if he goes to jail. Mary-Ann then kinda jumps ahead to life in college and then seems to stop writing about her life itself. Instead she focuses on Bob Malm and how the cops are able to get him to confess to what he did to her classmate and how the trial goes. She closes with talking more about her life and what happened to Tyler and her Father and her Mother.
The reason I say this memoir is different from the others I have read is because she does spend a lot of time on Bob Malm and the trial. I found it all very fascinating. I loved the way she wrote, the stories about her growing up and things her family did, I also found the whole issue with Bob Malm very interesting. I recommend this to anybody who loves a good memoir. Of course...feel free to pick this up even if you haven't read memoirs before, it's a very interesting and at times funny read.
non-fiction/new author/275pgs


Lover of Books said...

I read this one but I don't remember when. lol I enjoyed it a lot and it is different but really good too. :)

Joy said...

I have this on my TBR list. Thanks for the encouraging review. I look forward to it even more now.

iliana said...

I got an advance reading copy of this and just haven't gotten to it but I'm excited to hear it was good. I went through a huge memoir reading phase and feel like I got a bit burned out on them. I'm looking forward to this one though.

Anonymous said...

Mary-Ann Tirone Smith here:
I love crawling out of my cave now and again and reading such kindly words about my memoir. So many people have connected with Girls of Tender Age. So, all of you, let me share the exciting news that the memoir has been optioned for a film. Having had a couple of my novels optioned, I remember how much fun it was to imagine what actors might play characters I made up out of thin air. Now along comes someone who might just play... ME. Imagine!
Happy holidays to all.