Books to Watch for This May - Reviews and Reading Guides
Finding a book you love can be a bittersweet experience: How can your next choice ever compare to what you just finished? We revisit the page-turners of the past and recommend titles we're betting will become the stars of the future.
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the May 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Then: The Women Who Raised Me
By Victoria Rowell
352 pages; Harper
In her 2007 memoir, The Women Who Raised Me, Victoria Rowell, who was put into foster care as a baby, wrote movingly about the mentors and surrogate mothers who helped her grow up to be a successful dancer and actor.
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Now: The Other Wes Moore
By Wes Moore
256 pages; Spiegel & Grau
The Other Wes Moore highlights the transformative influence of caring adults by juxtaposing the life stories of two men—one the author of this memoir—with the same name. Born just a year apart in the same rough Baltimore neighborhood, both Wes Moores were raised by single mothers. One became a Rhodes scholar and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence for murder. "The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his," writes Moore, who spent hours interviewing his doppelgänger in prison. Moore vividly and powerfully describes not just the culture of the streets but how it feels to be a boy growing up in a world where violence makes you a man, school seems irrelevant, and drug dealing is a respected career choice. As the other Moore gets pulled irretrievably into this world, the author is rescued—unwillingly at first—by his family's sacrifice and forceful actions. "My mother made the decision to intervene," he writes. "[She]...decided that overdoing it was better than doing nothing at all." — Karen Holt
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