1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Sincere, honest memoir,
This review is from: The Church of Tango: a Memoir (Paperback)
This is a very personal, honest, unashamed, sincere memoir. Essentially it is a story of survival and overcoming; lose of loved ones; despondency; disappointment in friends (which of us cannot empathise here); serious illness; thwarted love, broken dreams etc. It is a very human tale.
After struggling with her despondent feelings, following the untimely death of her husband, the author unexpectedly finds new energy and hope within herself. This sets her off on a global journey which has an unforeseen destination.
The tale unfolds by moving back and forth in time rather than following a strict chronological order of events. A style the author uses to good effect to build for us an understanding and an image of who she is and what has made her so.
Her travels to a variety of different countries and cultures are never without incident and frequently involve disappointment. Nevertheless, throughout Cherie Magnus displays a determination and resilience which has to be admired. I doubt there are many who would have put up with what she did and ultimately still come through smiling and with an undaunted zest for life.
The book unmistakably conveys her passion for dance and her determination to find it wherever she can. This sometimes leads her into districts I certainly would not wish to traverse on a darkened night. Tango does not occupy a large percentage of the book but in the end does turn out to be the fulfilment of so much of her deepest longing.
I will not say more than this as the synopsis which you may read here on the Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk sites really sets the framework of her tale very clearly.
The book contains many statements in French but in the majority of instances without an interpretation. I confess I found this tedious. This may have been okay for classic novels most of which were written at a time when French was the salon as well as the political language of the day. However, in these modern days those who can read it are in an overall minority. Although the story is not unduly impaired it would have been nice to understand what was being said. The same problem, on a much reduced scale, is encountered where Mexican and South American terms are used again without interpretation or explanation.
It is clear we are reading about a sensual, sensitive person who has always loved life and enjoyed much with her husband. His absence brought her very low and threatened to be her end. However, her passion for life resurfaces and despite all the difficulties and obstacles wins through in the end; not only to her gratification but also to that of the readers.
Although this memoir finishes it does not end. You are left with a sense of `more to follow'. I believe a sequel is in fact under preparation.
In these days when there is much discussion about the impact of book titles and covers. I therefore consider it appropriate to also comment upon these when writing a review.
Title: At first `Church of Tango' may appear to some as a little sacrilegious but it is also intriguing. As you read you come to understand where the title comes from and its relevance. Whether the title would draw those who have little or no interest in dance is debatable.
Cover: I love the warm colours. The shoes depict the author's love of dance, not just tango, and would appeal to anyone interested in dance. However, it may be off-putting for others, which would be a shame as the book is about far more although dance does play an important part in the author's life. The suitcase portrays Cherie's mobile life as related within the book. Hopefully this will draw those interested in travel and other cultures.
Rating: This is an interesting read although it has to be admitted non-dancers may become distracted in places. Again I would emphasise dance plays but a small part in the narrative. Nevertheless, it is a well written memoir within which the author's emotions of the moment are conveyed in such a clear manner that the reader cannot help but identify with, and feel, them. I therefore happily allocate a 4**** rating.
Please note: I am not a trained or professional critic. Consequently I may only share my personal opinions and observations regarding this book. Nonetheless, I hope you find my review of interest and perhaps of some help when deciding your next read.
The book is available both in paperback and as an e-book from either the Amazon.com or the Amazon.co.uk sites.
ISBN 10: 615573541
ISBN 13: 978-061557354Q
Cherie Magnus has two blog sites:
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