A good memoir needs a compelling story and something both unique and universal to pull us in: this one has all that, told with clear, direct simplicity. Linda’s story is unique in that she was born with a life-threatening bleeding disorder, a rare form of hemophilia. Her childhood was filled with medical crises — but it makes pretty dramatic reading. The universal takes over when Linda’s role reverses and she becomes the caregiver for her aging parents, something that most of us will experience, and that we — and our children — will need to think about and prepare for. I, for one, would wish for someone as kind and generous as Linda to watch over me if I make it to 90 or more years. Not an easy story but a good one, with much to recommend it.
The unique juxtaposition of an adult who depended for her very survival on the steady hand of her mother who, at the end of her parents’ life, in turn was tasked with their care makes for an absorbing, page-turning read. Written clearly and moving easily between the distance and the near past, My Turn is almost too sad to bear. Ms. Wright is no sentimentalist; she give us the unvarnished truth in small sips, with only the occasional upbeat break in the tension. And in the process, she has created a very special memoir. If you plan to get old, you should read this book. I loved it.