Read advance reader review of Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies, page 3 of 5

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Mothers of Sparta

A Memoir in Pieces

by Dawn Davies

Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies X
Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2018, 272 pages

    Jan 2019, 272 pages


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There are currently 29 member reviews
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  • MW
    Mothers of Sparta is a Great Book
    Mothers of Sparta was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. This memoir was not sugarcoated and it described life with honesty- the good, the bad, and the ugly. It appealed to me in particular due to my state in life (thirty something married mom). It is definitely a book worth reading - any mom can relate and will appreciate this book.
  • Suzanne G. (Tucson, AZ)
    First-rate Writing
    I loved, loved, loved this book. I laughed, I cried, and I was sympathetic to the pain and angst that Dawn Davies had throughout her life. The love she had for her family was evident at every turn. This book was so honest that it is obvious that the author created a work of art with her elegant and well crafted writing. This is not only a memoir but also a look at a life that any woman might experience. There are countless reasons that a book club could gain much from a discussion of this story.
  • Monica P. (Cleves, OH)
    Courageous book
    Dawn Davies has a talent for writing so eloquently that you laugh when she laughs and hurt when she hurts. She makes herself totally vulnerable and opens up her life for all to see. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her perspective on various parenting escapades and then I came to the chapter with the same title as the book. It's deep, moving, brave stuff and I salute her for living her life with grace and courage. Excellent read.
  • Nancy L. (Staunton, VA)
    Pieces of a Life
    "Mothers of Sparta A Memoir in Pieces" by Dawn Davies is a remarkable work. Davies is a tough woman with a tender underside who paints a picture of her life through a series of self portraits, or essays. The early essays portray a great love and appreciation for the natural word around her juxtaposed with the heartbreak of frequent family uprooting. In later essays, she lays bare some of her most difficult times in beautifully written prose. She exposes small glimpses of childhood, marriage, motherhood, divorce, and debilitating illness with honesty and quiet humor. Davies is a memoirist with a remarkable voice.
  • Beth C. (Sioux Falls, SD)
    A Memoir in Pieces
    Dawn Davies has put together an outstanding selection of vignettes from her life - the memoir in pieces, called "Mothers of Sparta." Only one of the pieces refers to the ancient Greek city-state of Sparta, but Davies compares and contrasts some of its methodology for raising warriors to her own very personal struggles raising an autistic son. Her writing feels honest and straightforward with well-turned phrases and true emotion. I truly enjoyed reading this book and would certainly recommend it to anyone who enjoys memoirs of the not-rich and not-famous. I would be a great discussion selection for a reading group.
  • Ruthie A. (New York, NY)
    The Struggle is Real
    Mothers of Sparta is a series of essays that form a memoir. Dawn Davies offers glimpses into her life at various crucial moments. Some funny incidents are included, but overall the tone is of despair, anger, loneliness and frustration. Davies writes in both the first and second person, and for me this was a problem. Many times while reading I felt like I was listening to a very long "voice-over", the type offered on T.V shows such as Grey's Anatomy – and it became tiresome. Often Davies went off on tangents, some so long that I forgot what she had originally been writing about.

    Some of the essays, most specifically the title story were brilliant; sharp, pointed and searing. Others seem to be composed of meandering thoughts going nowhere. I wish I had read them in intervals, reading more than one or two at a sitting diluted the whole. I also found that the cover blurb misrepresented the content – quotes like "Davies…couldn't care less about anyone's potty-training programs…" made it sound like a non-fiction version of "Where Did You Go Bernadette" or some other snarky mom writing – and it most definitely is not! Davies has dealt with many hardships while raising her children and none of it sounded like fun. Powerful essays, but best taken in small doses and with forewarning!
  • Liz D. (East Falmouth, MA)
    The Mother of Sparta
    The Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies is a series of thought provoking essays, stories of her life so far. These memories tell a story somewhat unique but important to her growing up to become a mother, wife and mother. Some are almost poetry in their language; others are gritty and sarcastic; still others disturbing. The range of emotions make this book a worthwhile read for those of us who often think our joys, pains and victories are not shared by another Dawn Davies tell us we are not alone in our struggle to be great mothers.

Beyond the Book:
  Spartan Mothers

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