Twine by Dorriah Rogers – Book Review

by Dorriah Rogers
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Twine by Dorriah Rogers

How far would you go to overcome a dark and tragic legacy for a chance at redemption?

Composed from a collection of haunting and colorful memories, Twine chronicles the dark journey of a broken family spanning generations.

Sliding effortlessly between past and present, this is the story of Dorriah Burke—a girl raised among California avocados and a bewildering array of dysfunctional family members. As children, trapped between their alcoholic mother and violent father, Dorriah and her brother are faced with untenable choices and lives of ever-increasing lunacy and sorrow.

Now an adult, Dorriah finally escapes across the country with her own daughter in an attempt to restart her life, but the miles aren’t enough. Grief-stricken by her mother’s rapidly declining health, her father’s shocking choices, and her brother’s inability to help, she is forced to make a decision: unlock her past and her only hope to overcome her personal demons, or protect her only child from the dark labyrinth of her family history.

Twine is a seductive memoir of shocking narrative power and sweeping honesty. Written with a clever and profane wit and populated by unforgettable and profoundly relatable characters, it is a beautiful narrative that’s impossible to put down—a story of agony and loss, betrayal and love, survival and reinvention that never allows the reader to rest for an instant as the story ruthlessly hurtles towards its surprising conclusion.

Book review:

Twine by Dorriah Rogers is Dorriah Allesandra Burke’s story, and (in her own words) she is a self-labeled emotional moron!  Is she though?  I found this to be an intelligent, captivating and touching memoir.

Center-stage is Dorriah, middle-aged, single mother, scientist, business owner, cancer survivor, horse lover and friend for life.  Outwardly aloof and altogether, inwardly far from perfect, in fact, just shy of insane!  When a domineering abusive tyrant is your father, and a passive, turn-a-blind-eye alcoholic is your mother, you might indeed end up like Dorriah, who recognizes that the sleeping dragon – anger, resides within her.  Knowing where it stems from is one thing, controlling it is another.  How her beautiful, clever, film-director mother became the person she did is not clear, but her ending is devastatingly sad, I feel the pain of this sadness and can only imagine the pain Dorriah feels.  Delving into the family tree reveals dark secrets.  Is Dorriah doomed to pass catastrophic diseased genes down to her daughter, Delaney?  Or can the cycle be broken?

This memoir is so cleverly written that I never once thought, oh poor Dorriah.  Even though she and her brother John are victims, they are also survivors.  Watching the two of them react to their upbringing in different ways added depth.  Life can be hard, how we react defines us.  The past is laid down rather matter-of-factly expertly disguising the raw emotions that run deep throughout the book.  I liked the way the past is jumbled around, so that it is revealed to you slowly in portions.  I even managed to get to the end before the tears flowed!  I’m a sucker for a happy ending and stories that hold kindness; it’s then that I am reaching for the tissues.

I thoroughly appreciated Dorriah Roger’s dry-humor and self-defacing remarks.  These reflections on the past were lightened by her honest thoughts, adding that dash of mirth much-needed in a story such as this.  Twine is an engaging and moving memoir, honest and relatable.  It is also extremely well written and presented with elegant panache.  Twine by Dorriah Rogers comes highly recommended by Artisan Book Reviews. Book reviewed by T N Traynor for Artisan Book Reviews.

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