Tuesday, January 28, 2014

G245 My Mother's Funeral; A Memoir

Title: My Mother's Funeral

Author: Adriana Paramo

First copyright date: 2013

Type of book: Mother/Daughter relationship, poverty, Columbia, creativity, history, memoir, escape, South America, abandonment, bitterness, 1950s?-1990s?

General subject matter: Mother and daughter relationship, memories, growing up

Special features: N/A

Price: $21.00

ISBN/ASIN: 978-1-933880-39-6

Author's Purpose: 

"My real mother will be dead in less than two years, and her death will teach me a new definition of grief: one that is more than just a hurt heart because the pain is deep and widespread. I will feel her void in my cells, in the follicles of my hair, in the cuticle of my nails, in unsuspected places and at unexpected times." (xviii)

a. Why did the author write on this subject rather than on some other subject?

I can think of several reasons as to why My Mother's Funeral was written: one of the reasons as sort of a eulogy to her mother, as well as trying to remember the way she was, and perhaps its to make sense of her childhood. There are at least three story threads that are going on simultaneously: one is about when her mother met her father and she gave her family up, another are establishing connections between her sisters and brother while the funeral is going on and the last thread is that of the author's childhood with her mother and sisters.

b. From what point of view is the work written?

The book is primarily written from Adriana's point of view, although her mother's point of view also enters into the story once in a while.

c. Was the author trying to give information, to explain something technical, to convince the reader of a belief’s validity by dramatizing it in action?

I think the book serves multiple purposes: one is giving information because she does include history of Columbia as well as how her family ended up the way they did, while another purpose is to come to grips with her mother's death. I sort of sense that the author really sought her mother's approval and out of all the sisters, she probably needed her mother a lot.

d. What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it? (Use outside sources to familiarize yourself with the field, if necessary.) Knowledge of the genre means understanding the art form. and how it functions.

The general field its fit into would include South America, Columbia, memoir, eulogy, mother/daughter relationship and perhaps 1950s-1990s time line? as well as death and mourning and connections between mothers and daughters

e. Who is the intended audience?

The intended audience would be her family members and anyone else who has a mother, which would be everyone. For some odd reason, whenever I reflect on the relationship between the author and her mother, I often recall a quote from Queen Bees and Wanna-bees about how mother/daughter relationships are very turbulent.

f. What is the author's style? Is it formal or informal? Evaluate the quality of the writing style by using some of the following standards: coherence, clarity, originality, forcefulness, correct use of technical words, conciseness, fullness of development, fluidity. Does it suit the intended audience?

The author's style is best described as informal and its very sensual as well as understandable. The writing teases the senses with sights, smells and sounds as well as giving a picture of the author's mother and her strong and indomitable personality. (My favorite part is the beginning of the book about the mango.)

g. Scan the Table of Contents, it can help understand how the book is organized and will aid in determining the author's main ideas and how they are developed - chronologically, topically, etc.

Part I
*Opal and Topaz #1
*Rigor Mortis
Part II
*Opal and Topaz #2
*The Wake
Part III
*Opal and Topaz #3
* Requiem Mass
*La Petite Mort at Thirteen
*A Commie a la Colombiana
Part IV
*Opal and Topaz #4
*The Crematorium
*Napoleon's White Horse
Part V
*Home One last Time
*Epilogue (Ossuary)

g. How did the book affect you? Were any previous ideas you had on the subject changed, abandoned, or reinforced due to this book? How is the book related to your own course or personal agenda? What personal experiences you've had relate to the subject?

I'm not really sure how the book has affected me. I think if anything I came to admire the author's mother and the sacrifices she made for her son and daughters as well as the difficulty of life in Columbia. The book has proved that women are tough and unique creatures. When a specific event happened to Adriana and her sisters, I also felt angry along with Adriana and had a difficult time understanding their reactions.

h. How well has the book achieved its goal?

She definitely created something eternal and lasting when it came to this book, as well as something that can be thought of as universal because at one point or another a lot of the mothers struggled with what Adriana's mother struggled with, even if its continents or generations or even worlds apart.

i. Would you recommend this book or article to others? Why?

I really would recommend the book to people I know because for one it introduces a culture that not many know or are familiar with, and for another there is something timeless and easy to relate to in Adriana's mother Carmen as well as growing up in a household where there are more women than men.

a. Theme: The theme is the subject or topic. It is not necessarily the title, and it is usually not expressed in a complete sentence. It expresses a specific phase of the general subject matter.

"Without her, there was no me." (page 254)

b. Thesis: The thesis is an author’s generalization about the theme, the author’s beliefs about something important, the book’s philosophical conclusion, or the proposition the author means to prove. Express it without metaphor or other figurative language, in one declarative sentence.

There is more to people than just labels or stereotypes. Don't underestimate women.

This is for TLC Book Tour

Adriana P├íramo’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, January 6th:  Read. Write. Repeat.
Wednesday, January 8th:  Patricia’s Wisdom
Sunday, January 12th:  Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Monday, January 13th:  Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, January 14th:  BookNAround
Thursday, January 16th:  Sarah’s Bookshelves
Monday, January 20th:  Book Dilettante
Wednesday, January 22nd:  Book Lust
Friday, January 24th:  Bibliotica
Tuesday, January 28th:  Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, February 3rd:  Seaside Book Nook
Thursday, February 6th:  What She Read
5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)


  1. Dear Svetlana,
    Thank you so much for reading my work and the care with which you treated it.

  2. "The book has proved that women are tough and unique creatures." Well said!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.


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