I received a free copy of Real American: A Memoir in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
The topic of race can be triggering, especially in this current social climate. When I heard about Real American: A Memoir by Julie Lythcott-Haims, it really piqued my interest. As you may know, I’m mixed half white, half African American. Growing up in a predominately white area, navigating the waters of who I am and coming to terms with my identity as a mixed girl in the Midwest was hard.
Walking down the street my freshman year of college, in Madison, a stranger stopped me to ask “what are you?”. There is something about my racial ambiguity that makes people have to pinpoint it. In this memoir, Julie’s life has many parallels to mine, even though we grew up 2 decades apart.
“There was something about my skin color and hair texture that snagged the attention of white children and adults. Their need to make sense of me…was pressing”
While reading this book, there were so many moments I could relate to. I’ve had the disastrous haircut that made me look like a boy. I’ve had the need to feel like I belong with certain groups of people.
As I was reading this book, Gabby kept thinking it was me on the cover. Look at this photo from when I was little…almost like the cover!
Each segment of the book is like a journal of a certain time in her life and she draws you in with her honesty and vulnerability. At first the flow took me a moment to adjust to, it’s not like your typical memoir. Even if you’re not of mixed heritage, there is something about growing up and trying to belong that everyone can relate to.
If you have a book club, I highly recommend adding this book to your list. I think it would bring forth so many different conversations. Even simply reading this together with your friends would be helpful…I felt like I needed to talk to others about what I was learning and feeling as I read.
Real American: A Memoir by Julie Lithcott-Haims is available where books are sold TODAY.
Have you read this book? Let’s chat about it!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.