Memoir Review — Tracy Seeley’s My Ruby Slippers: The Road Back to Kansas

by Matilda Butler on August 3, 2011

catnav-book-raves-active-3Post #88 – Women’s Memoirs, Book & Video Raves – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

MEMOIR REVIEW: My Ruby Slippers: The Road Back Home

By Stacey Donovan

Home is where the road lives, a reality Tracy Seeley leads us to in her singular memoir. And does it sing. Lyrical, enchanted, beguiling, evocative, dusty-mouthed, wondering. The author captures longing, the sprawl of being and eventually takes us along on her trip back to Kansas as she looks for herself.

How much does it cost, how much travail, for a soul to journey towards then away followed by forward and even sideways to get where she is going? As a reader, I willingly joined Seeley on her slippered ride. Seeley provides us with an invitation to join her that is large with evocative prose. I found her approach to self so resonant that I began to consider how place has influenced me.

Such bravery, what a wide space to inhabit in the world, to have moved all those belongings we traipse with, to accompany the dreams of others – in this case, Seeley’s parents (more specifically her father). Her childhood was uprooted not once, not twice, not thrice but more than two handfuls of time before even the age of ten, to land in seven towns, unpack in thirteen different abodes, to say, later on in life, “What? Where am I?”

Does a childhood matter, shape us? Just at a point in her adult life when everything appeared fine, along comes betrayal in a few of its forms: cancer, a lover’s betrayal. For Seeley, it seems as if her world shifted, morphed, swam away. In Seeley’s capable hands, these changes took her on the road to find answers to this magical four-letter word so bursting with meaning: home.

Tracy Seeley is all that a writer might wish to be: a writer’s writer; the top of the heap that might fall so heavily and thud if it were not for the words she uses. She finds the right — the perfect — the only word, that expresses what it is that is happening to her at each point in this journey. She helps us find, along with her, so much more home than perhaps she could ever have dreamed had she not traversed the anguish, doubt, and betrayal that urged her toward the road home.

To grace us with such struggle and poetry, hey Tracy thank you!, and please keep trying to find more Kansas, more you.

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Here’s a link to the Kindle version of Tracy Sheeley’s memoir.

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You may also be interested in these two articles:

Tracy Seeley talked with Women’s Memoirs about writing her memoir.

Tracy Seeley spoke with Women’s Memoirs about marketing her memoir.

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