Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Review: Leaving Parma

'Leaving Parma'
Author: Angie Sarich

Format: Paperback
Published: Colonus House Publishing; 2010
Pages: 265
Genre: Memoir
Grade: C
Source: Author

Synopsis: A Memoir. "Taking the combat death of her uncle as the beginning point, Angie investigates in her memoir the nature of loss and its effect on the human spirit by exploring the stories of three generations of her family and of the people of Parma." Set in Parma, Idaho, USA.

My Take: You may not know this about me, but I was born in Idaho. I don't meet many people these day who are from Idaho, even though I still live on the West Coast, so I enjoyed getting to read a book set in Idaho. It was like taking a little vacation back to Idaho. I spent most of my childhood summers in Idaho's panhandle.

Sarich's memoir, set in Parma, Idaho, near Boise in the south of Idaho. A small town, it is where she grew up and where much of her family did as well. Leaving Parma is a look back on those who have come before and the effects of one man's death on all of her family members: her uncle Craig, who died in the Vietnam war. 

I love memoirs and I appreciate any look on family and struggles with loss and life but I felt that Sarich's premise was almost a reason to write a book, rather than a natural memoir. Sarich's uncle passed before she was ever born, so while there were memories of him being talked about when she was alive, his life and loss where not something that directly affected her. I felt that she needed some sadness of her own to talk about or else it was too much of a story to draw out. 

Regardless, if you enjoy memoirs set in small towns, or perhaps have lost family members in the Vietnam War then this memoir might be one you could relate to even more.

Cover Lust: I thought this was the perfect cover! Sarich mentioned throughout this book that this was the house that many of the main characters grew up in.


  1. At first glance, I couldn't picture you reading a book like this but then you mentioned the Idaho connection :)

    I love small towns. I often imagine myself living in one, but I know The Hub would be bored to death, which in turn would drive me nuts.

  2. I love memoirs, too, but this probably isn't the one for me right now.

  3. I love memoirs too but this one doesn't pique my interest at the moment. It does feel like the author was trying to think of a reason to write a memoir and maybe that is why it wasn't that interesting.

  4. Yup, what Kathleen said. Sometimes I feel like everyone and their brother has to write a memoir...and unfortunately, many people shouldn't.

    I actually know a person (besides you!) who was born in Idaho! Couldn't tell you what town, though.

  5. I struggle with memoirs that seem to feel like the subject was just an excuse to write a book. That doesn't really explain why I love stunt memoirs, but oh well :)

  6. I don't read many memoirs, and I just don't think this'll be one I pick up.


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