A Review of The Three of Us

The Three of UsI often wish I could ask my mom about her love of memoirs. I want to know what it is that attracted her to so many of them. I like a memoir or two, but my mom’s list has been full of them. Did she just love reading about lives so different from her own? Did she not really intend to read them all? I will never know.

Personally, I need a memoir break. I think the combination of Baby Love and The Three of Us has just enforced this feeling. It’s been two memoirs about two terrible mothers too close together.

In The Three of Us, Julia Blackburn describes growing up with her abusive alcoholic father and selfish jealous mother. It’s a tough lot indeed but Julia writes of it all matter of factly.

I think it was the writing that bothered me the most. I prefer memoirs written more like stories whereas this one was more disjointed. And everything was “I think this is true but I don’t remember” or “According to my diary, this must be what happened” etc. Now, this does make sense, seeing as no one can clearly remember everything that was said and done years earlier. Still, I don’t want to see how the sausage is made. I just want to hear the story.

And it is an interesting story Blackburn has to tell – full of drama and sex and travel. One I most certainly cannot relate to, but then again my life is fairly boring (in a good way!) and would not make for a good book. Julia’s life is the thing movies, or clearly books, are made of.

I finished the book impressed with Blackburn. She has taken her tumultuous early years and seemed to become a stable successful adult. She even came to forgive her mother. Based on what I read, these are no easy feats.


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