It Is What It Is
by Judy Sunne Knowles

"It was my mother, my two sisters, my brother and me who travelled around one thousand miles and six states to reach our new home."

Reading a memoir is like peering voyeuristically into a life, but with permission. Such is this highly personal and touching account of a life well-lived. This is an autobiographical lesson in positivity. Knowles describes some of the worst experiences matter-of-factly in the best of terms and with the best outlook. "Before I knew it he was gone to another. My friends were there to help." Knowles, now over seventy years old, describes her life and memories from childhood with three siblings to the present. Her memories are sometimes bittersweet but often described in the most poetic of terms: "My story, I am not dead yet...Remember, where I land my balloon, it never lands twice - does it ever land?"

The first half of the book is in paragraph form, describing her personal story. The second half is written in short poems. Knowles, some would say, had a hard-knock life. Married more than once, widowed and divorced, she had children taken from her custody and another that died young. This all sounds unimaginable for anyone to endure. But Knowles describes it with a heads-up attitude, sharing good news and good friends along the way. Her attitude is laudable and comes through on every page. This mom, wife, and widow tells her unique story in a unique and endearing style. Her words remind readers that each person has a plateful of issues and should be treated respectfully. In the starkest terms, and put into verse, Knowles skillfully teaches readers that everyone has their trials and, ultimately, a person has to shrug their shoulders and say, "it is what it is."

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