Book Reveiw 4-10

By Denise Turney
     If you’re looking for a book of short writings of wisdom gained from life experiences, some challenging, others learned naturally, this classic is sure to be a treat.  In Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now, Maya Angelou tackles life events such as style, living well, Spirit, understanding, complaining and respect.  As is customary for Maya Angelou, the writing in Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now is fluid.  Maya Angelou writes so as to allow readers from different cultures, age groups and reading levels to understand and enjoy this classic.
    One of my favorite short pieces in the book is In All Ways A Woman.  Maya begins by sharing how much pride she formerly took when hearing of luck, nations, and storms being referred to as women or ladies.  Later it dawned on her how uncertain and ever changing the things (nature, luck, etc.) referred to in female terms were.  She no longer felt pride when hearing when referred to as”lady luck” or “Hurricane Isabel”.  She closes the piece by saying, “Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible, and live long lives.  The struggle for equality continues unabated, and the woman warrior who is armed with wit and courage will be among the first to celebrate victory.”
     Readers who feel pressured to fit into a designated style will likely enjoy Getups.  I nearly laughed aloud reading parts of Getups as Maya Angelou talks about her eye for unique fashion.  Clothes should not define the person; the person should wear clothes that clearly define them Maya argues in this piece.  It is the exchange between her six-year old son and her that is painted with humor.  Her son tells her that he would like to speak with her.  Mother and young son sit down and talk.  During the conversation Maya is asked by her son if she has any other clothes she can wear.  Her unique outfits cause her to stand out, something that brings her son embarrassment.  So as not to bring her son embarrassment she tones down her style of dress, but only for awhile.  Her son older, Maya again allows fashion that clearly defines who she is.
    Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now is a timeless classic.  Topics covered in the book are as relevant today as they were when Maya Angelou first penned the book.  The writing is thought provoking and rewarding.

 Review by Denise Turney
Author of Portia, Love Has Many Faces and Spiral
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