Listen Mama

M.S.P. Williams
Narrator: JD Jackson

YOUNG ADULT MEMOIR: Manny wants to preserve the truth of his reality. The best way Manny can help his mama know the truth is to preserve it in letters he begins to write to her in a journal she gifts him as a child. Manny longs for his mama’s love and acceptance and his longing is heard in each letter that he writes. Growing from boy to man, he grapples with meeting the needs of his family and living his life on his terms. Mama struggles with mental illness. As she battles the demons in her mind, she forces Manny into the role of caretaker, and his father is constantly limiting his choices and his ability to find stability and happiness for him and his siblings.

M.S.P. Williams pens a tale of longing. With a mix of humor and sadness he writes letters to his mama. The reader will ache for the author and feel sorrow along with him as he struggles with depression and a series of hard knocks that come one after another in his life. Anyone who has a relationship with someone with mental illness will relate to his struggles. Mr. Williams shares all the good and the bad, the highs and the lows of his life in his letters. They will tug on the readers’ heartstrings as Manny comes of age. There are times when details bog down the letters and distract from the feel and the flow. The difficult topics tackled are faced with honesty and candor in a conversational tone. He expresses all his feelings without apology. A thoroughly emotional and absorbing story filled with more tragedy and hurt than any life should have.

JD Jackson’s narration works perfectly with this memoir. As his deep rumbling voice reads the letters the reader will feel like they are listening in on Manny’s thoughts as he pens these letters. His pacing sometimes feels slow but gives ample time to absorb the difficult topics that are tackled in this memoir. Any fan of memoirs won’t want to miss this!

*Trigger warning: deals with molestation, suicide ideation, mental illness, racism, and domestic violence.*

Cara Cieslak