In her memoir, Travels through Aqua, Green, and Blue, Mary E. Gregory takes readers on a rollicking ride through her life, starting with her experience of trauma and going through coming of age moments, a story that is electrifying and emotionally charged. Born with a cleft lip and palate, Mary enjoys her life growing up in Nashville. It is in the 1980s. Everything changes with her father’s coming out and abandonment of the family. Mary’s mother finds it hard to believe the man she married is gay, so in the midst of the crisis, she decides to take Mary and her siblings and move with them across the country. What comes after is a life of hardship and many challenges. Can Mary overcome the pain and can she make choices that will help her heal and grow?
This is a fascinating memoir that is told in a bold and captivating voice, sprinkled with dialogues that immerse readers into the cultural setting and the enthralling scenes. Mary E. Gregory writes with honesty and captures realities of the time with unusual clarity, with strong insights into the HIV crisis, the social upheavals rocking Los Angeles, and what it felt like growing up at that time. Her inner world is beautifully sculpted, allowing readers wonderful images of the different seasons of her life. The prose is gorgeous and the characters in the story are real. The author’s ability to capture the nature of family relationships and the psyche of the characters sets this memoir apart. While it is a true story, it doesn’t lack the entertaining potential that readers look for in well-crafted novels. The story starts with a compelling premise, a revelation that suddenly disrupts the life of a family and readers follow a mother and her young children struggling to make sense if the event.
Mary E. Gregory writes with grace and plots intelligently, pulling readers irresistibly into the story and compelling them to stay with the well-developed characters. The tale is balanced, deft, and the writing is infused with humanity and realism. The writing is bold and the originality in the author’s voice augments the beauty of the memoir, but it is the inner journey that the author undertakes that had me fascinated and utterly delighted. Travels through Aqua, Green, and Blue tells the story of a young woman growing through tough times after her father’s coming out. The journeys across the country and the different challenging experiences narrated in this memoir reveal a beautiful soul shaping itself through life’s crucible. Travels through Aqua, Green, and Blue is as inspiring as it is entertaining.