Publication Date: July 7, 2011
The Woman Who Drew by Nancy Wait is a personal author’s account. Nancy’s mother told her that her birth was a result of revenge for World War II but Nancy has always known that there was more. Nancy finds in her life, clues to her own mystery. In her engaging memoir, she tells readers how she came to be who she is and how she came to uncover the depths of The Nancy Who Drew: The Memoir That Solved A Mystery.
I received a free copy of the book in exchange for a review.
Nancy Wait’s story could easily be one of despair. A child is mistreated and abused, and although she escapes her situation, something remains. There is a feeling that needs completion, and as she ages, Nancy discovers the heart of her past. The Woman Who Drew is a memoir that reads like the finest literary fiction. The best part about The Woman Who Drew is that the story is a living work that continues to unfold for the author during the writing process.
Nancy Wait gives the reader a true story stranger than fiction. She tells the story of rising from abuse with the eye of someone who lived it, but for whom her story is in the past. There are teachable moments in The Woman Who Drew, but instead of pointing arrows to the message, Wait allows the reader to glean what they will. Wait takes us from experience to experience. Her time as a Playboy Bunny, to an actress, to an artist, to the person she is at the end of our association. Each step develops the characters for the reader in a meaningful way. Nancy Wait shows us how she came to be the person she is today and how she solved the mystery of her past.
Wait’s story has a lot of great moments. On page 123, she’s told that she must fake an orgasm for a movie role. This is her first role and she wants to do it right, so she is willing to comply with whatever the director asks, though it’s clear to the reader that there are lines not to be crossed. The director gives Nancy a recording of a French couple making love and “… calling to each other as if they were drowning, or being saved from drowning. Or drowning and being saved at the same time.” Nancy conveys the ridiculousness she feels in the situation to the reader, but a determination to succeed. In another scene, she’s walking a lonely path from an English pub and sings “Happy Birthday” to herself to calm her nerves, letting the reader know that it’s a tie back to similar situations in her past (Page 98).
The author’s evolution continues with September 11, 2001, while she’s working on the book. The tragedy so near sparks something in her that expands her scope of research, giving her even more clarity, and letting us know that Nancy Wait is a work always in progress. Nancy Wait’s life is engaging and something readers will be unable to stop reading.
I won’t lie to you, readers; I expected to roll my eyes a lot while reading this book. Wait is a child of the 1960s and the description showed a character rolled in mysticism. The impression made by the book description was an overly self-indulgent revisionist tale of a life lived. The reality of the work could not have been more different. Let’s be clear, memoirs are by nature self-involved. The author tells readers the story about themselves. Nancy Wait maintains a distance from the Nancy of the story. She reads as a person, as an objective as one can be of their own life and the obstacles faced. There are some thin connections made, but they are connections made by the author to her own experience and it cannot be easy shining a light on one’s life.
If you don’t like memoirs, you won’t likeThe Woman Who Drew. If tales of human experience are your thing, you cannot go wrong with a story like this. It runs the full range of emotions and leaves readers with the firm knowledge that all of the interesting people are not gone.
Read an excerpt and buy The Woman Who Drew by Nancy Wait on