This is no typical memoire. It isn’t, for the most part, about actions or accomplishments. And it’s definitely not about bragging.
The structure isn’t typical, either. It doesn’t go from one thing, leave that and go to another. It unfolds the way human minds and souls unfold over time. It was created the way a painting is: sketches and washes, then loosely shaped forms, then clarifying hues and values, then detailed touches. The pattern is prose stories written in a flowing, personal voice — followed by poetic structures that meditate on the stories that were just told. The pattern repeats many times, with factual overlaps, like ocean waves. The poetry is loose and casual at first, but merges into sophisticated free verse.
But how Alyce Guynn has created this book is not as unusual as what the book says. She doesn’t offer the usual highly curated peek into her life. She escorts you down to the marrow of her soul as you follow her out of small-town, rock-ribbed, Baptist Texas into her own free life.
She is a strong, smart, independent woman and has much to be proud of. Her spiritual journey is a common one, and I’m sure she knows that. In my own life, I am surrounded by people who have made such a journey. But there’s only one Alyce Guynn. And only one unique, remarkably open book that can make so many of us say “Yes! Yes! That’s what it was like!”
M. Phillips, April 2019