Sunday, October 03, 2010

A Tap Water Girl in a Bottled Water World – Book Review by T.L. Gray

Author: Dr. Shirley Garrett

Published: ©2002 – The Speaker Group

From Dippity Do Da to Tree Houses and Tomato Sandwiches, I was hooked. Though I’ve only recently met Shirley Garrett, her writing brought back so many of those forgotten childhood memories, but especially for me… that childhood fantasy of what I wanted in a family.

I didn’t have the loving, caring family that Shirley had and portrayed in this book, but it was exactly the family I dreamed about having, the one I’d lay out in the grass, stare up into the clouds and fantasized about , and while I read this lovely memoir… I got to visit those fantasies once more.

Growing up all over the Deep South, from Georgia to Texas, Shirley reminded me of many of my favorite things like tomato sandwiches, youthful energy, tree houses, bicycles, empty lots and cereal box prizes. Shirley’s recount of saving Blue Horse coupons to get a bicycle brought back memories of my own quest. I once saved Coke caps and sent them in to get a ‘director’s chair’. The joy of collecting, saving, counting, sending it in and waiting on the prize to arrive in the mail brought a smile to my face.

While reading A Tap Water Girl in a Bottled Water World, I didn’t get to just know the heart of Dr. Shirley Garrett… I got reminded of my own heart. Though not an orphan, but having an orphan complex, Shirley’s thoughts on being separated from her brothers and adopted touched me deeply. I felt I could relate.

I think this book has something for everyone, both young and old. I loved the style in which it was written, each chapter being able to stand alone, yet had a single heart-thread sewn throughout the whole piece. It’s touched me so much, and given me so many ideas for the memoir I’m currently working on; she’ll perhaps never know how much it’s affected me.

I wouldn’t recommend reading this book in one sitting. I’d advise that you take it one chapter at a time. Let each one soak into your spirit and touch your heart the way it’s touched mine.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray