In this aptly named and charming memoir, the author chronicles her life with candor, humor and warmth.
Beginning with her birth in 1929, Boroditksy Thomas writes about what it meant to grow up in a Jewish household in Winnepeg, Canada, a place where Jews were a minority and often the target of racism. Her mother’s doctor was the first Jewish physician to be permitted to practice in the maternity ward of a Catholic hospital in Manitoba and her mother the first of his patients permitted to give birth there.
Despite such challenges, the author’s story is an upbeat adventure into the world that likely few women of her era would have experienced. As a young woman, Boroditsky Thomas sets off to see the world, traveling all over Europe as she develops her stage talents. She works as a teacher, earns roles in plays, but ultimately gives her heart to the opera, performing with the Arts Council of Great Britian Opera Group and at Great Britain’s Glyndebourne Opera Festival. Eventually, she marries and raises her family, but family life hardly slows her down: She serves on the school board, organizes a community activities program that grows into a fine arts center, composes music and continues to travel and sing.
While this memoir is the story of a woman who seems to genuinely embrace life, it is not sugar coated. Boroditsky Thomas writes of an early abortion, family squabbles and her husband’s conversion from Protestant to Muslim – a move that puzzles her still.
Overall, this is a well written story, although the tale is not told chronologically, which creates redundancy at times, and it includes detailed information about the author’s family and children that may be of more interest to Boroditsky Thomas’ inner circle than strangers. Nonetheless, this account of a woman who lived well ahead of her time should prove to be an entertaining and enlightening read for many.
Also available as an ebook.