Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-05-16
- Reviewer: Staff
First-time author Lewis crafts a warmly told memoir about growing up in a small Virginia town in the 1960s, paying tribute to the people who helped shape his life and “all of the gas money you have been given—the angels and achievements, the devils and derailments that possibly influenced your life choices.” For Lewis, this primarily means his parents, whose turbulent marriage provides the backdrop for his experiences as a young African-American boy in an area where “there were no ‘social’ interactions between blacks and whites” until schools were integrated in 1969. Lewis finds much support from various teachers throughout his life, as well as an important lesson from a cousin that “there’ll be lots of things in your life that you won’t know how to do, but it’s okay to not know how to do them.” But it isn’t until a midlife crisis of self-doubt pushes him to the brink of suicide that he decides to look back and reflect on “the 50 years of ‘gas money’ that had shaped my life,” which leads him to realize just how much fuel he was given by important people to help him “get to my next destination.” This is an affecting and sympathetic look at the complexities of family life. (BookLife)