Our Revolution: A Mother and Daughter at Midcentury

Norton. Mar. 2020. 464p. ISBN 9780393080056. $28.95. BIOG
Moore (The White Blackbird) takes on the ambitious task of distilling not just one life but two. The author recounts her mother’s life and her own, especially amid social change movements of the 1960s. Moore represents a white family of considerable privilege, a fact that is acknowledged in the text but still limits the perspective. Moore shares intimate glimpses of her family life and coming-of-age story, beautifully integrating excerpts from her mother’s writing among her own recollections and research. However, perhaps because it seeks to cover too much territory, the book sometimes struggles to remain engaging and at times gets bogged down by details. Overall, readers will catch the spirit of the story, but without a clear sense of the book’s purpose and what comes next.
VERDICT Moore offers a rich exploration of an individual whose life and family were dramatically altered by second-wave feminism. However, the account struggles with the dual tasks of being both biography and memoir and takes on more than it can satisfyingly deliver.

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