Title: Head Over Heels: Stories about the 1950s
Author: Donna Van Straten Remmert
Publisher: RemArt Publishing
Publication Year: 2012
One of my great jobs is to interview authors for the Story Circle Journal and to review their books for Story Circle Network's wonderful book review site, www.storycirclebookreviews.org, a site devoted solely to books by, for and about women. In September, I had the pleasure of reading Donna Van Straten Remmert's latest hilarious memoir, Head Over Heels: Stories About the 1950s. Here is the review which first appeared on the SCBR site and in the quarterly journal. (When you're done reading it give the site a look-see. Donna's other two memoirs are reviewed there too.)
In this, the third installment of her memoir that began with The Littlest Big Kid and Jitterbug Girl, Donna Van Straten Remmert delights us with the lively tale of her exodus from her small
Donna’s need-based scholarship doesn’t cover everything and a college education isn’t all she’s after. She hopes to meet “the one”, but in the meantime she’s got a chance to go to
she’s saving every penny she can to make it happen. She has to work hard at a
series of jobs—waiting tables, supervising the playground at an orphanage, and
typing for a law firm. As Donna’s world view expands so do her questions about
herself, her Catholic faith and her role as a woman in a male-dominated world.
What is the most important quality in a woman? Is it more important to be
pretty or smart? Sexy or sweet? Creative, curious, affectionate, clever in
conversation, a good hostess? Has going
to college made men see Donna and her friends as too ambitious to make good
wives and mothers? Is it possible to have a career as well as a husband and
children? Is there such a thing as destiny and fate or do our choices shape our
lives? Is morality relative or universal?
Whether she’s bargaining with God and the Virgin Mary for a good grade on her test, trying on a Bohemian tie-dyed tee over her Reindeer sweater in the back of a van, fighting off the advances of a German Baron, watching near-naked dancing girls with her brother and sister-in-law at the Moulin Rouge Theatre, or racing around Rome on the back of a scooter with a policeman she’s just met, Donna’s frankness and fresh-faced optimism, witty dialogue and touching inner thoughts will keep you turning pages.
Tune in next week for an interview with this gifted memoirist!
Note: Other than a copy of this book, I received no remuneration from the author or any other entity for this review.