Writing with a delicate balance of humor and truth, critically acclaimed author Rebecca Barry reflects on motherhood, work, and marriage in her new memoir about trying to build a creative life. When Rebecca Barry and her husband moved to upstate New York to start their family, they wanted to be surrounded by natural beauty but close to a small urban center, doing work they loved, and plenty of time to spend with their kids. But living their dreams turned out not to be so simple: the lovely old house they bought had lots of character but also needed lots of repairs, they struggled to stay afloat financially, their children refused to sleep or play quietly, and the novel Rebecca had dreamed of writing simply wouldn't come to her. Recipes for a Beautiful Life blends heartwarming, funny, authentically told stories about the messiness of family life, a fearless examination of the anxieties of creative work, and sharp-eyed observations of the pressures that all women face. This is a story of a woman confronting her deepest fears: What if I'm a terrible mother? What if I'm not good at the work I love? What if my children never eat anything but peanut butter and cake? What if I go to sleep angry? It's also a story of the beauty, light, and humor that's around us, all the time-even when things look bleak, and using that to find your way back to your heart. Mostly, though, it is about the journey to building not just a beautiful life, but a creative one.
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by Mira Ptacin
by Moira Weigel
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"Kyra Miller's soulful narration conveys the perfection of life's imperfections in author Rebecca Barry's touching memoir. When Barry moves to upstate New York to pursue her dreams--raising a family of young children and writing her book while helping her husband start a green-living magazine--she's confronted with less-than-dreamy consequences. Miller's high pitch and timing capture the rapid-fire of the children's unabashed questions, demands, and comments, which are silly and funny yet wise beyond their years. In lovely contrast is Miller's versatile and moving portrayal of Barry, who responds to life with slow cadences of quiet resilience; loud frustration; helpless, voice-breaking sorrow; and uplifted joy as she learns to appreciate the beauty in all these moments. M.F. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine"
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