Mothering Through the Whirlwind

Non-Fiction - Memoir
54 Pages
Reviewed on 05/04/2015
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Mothering Through the Whirlwind is an inspirational memoir written by Tamara Passey. The author’s story begins when she’s twelve years old, and she promises herself to take the time to carefully consider before accepting a marriage proposal. When Steve, a college boyfriend, comes back into her life he does propose and she, remembering her promise, goes away for a week to think about what she should do. Tamara did accept and a little over a year later, she delivered their first child, a son who would need a liver transplant when he was six months old. This would be the first of many whirlwinds that Passey would encounter as she navigated her way through being a mother. Each chapter in her memoir tells a different story, based on her experiences as a mother.

Tamara Passey’s inspirational memoir, Mothering Through the Whirlwind, gave me a fairly good idea why the author was awarded Arizona’s Young Mother of the Year for 2013. Her dedication and long hours spent caring for her family is not something she brags about; rather it’s what her vision of being a mother is all about. At one point in her book, she considers the amount of time spent in doctors’ offices over the years and ponders what she could have done with those hours, but she finds, in the long term, a sense of joy, fulfillment and satisfaction in what her life as a mother has been. I think I was most impressed by her determination to stand aside and allow her kids to learn and make decisions on their own, as she so eloquently discusses in her essay on an art history field trip with her teenage daughter. Passey’s voice is compelling and honest, and her writing style reflects her vision beautifully. I finished her book feeling as though I had gotten to know someone who has not only weathered whirlwinds, but has found inestimable joy in her life, loves and family. Mothering Through the Whirlwind is highly recommended.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

"Compassion and gentleness and gratitude." It's a simple sentence, a pledge, really. This is what a mother is - or at least what a mother should be. Mothers are simple people who are willing "to walk this path with you." What path? The path of life. And it's not always an easy path to walk.

In Mothering Through the Whirlwind, Tamara Passey speaks from personal experience in this touching little memoir. Named Arizona Young Mother of the Year in 2013, she is humble in acknowledging her public recognition. When her six-month-old son needed a liver transplant, she walked with him, day after day, and sat by his hospital bed night after night. When, years later, her now adult son needed more medical attention, she continued to walk with him and sit with him.

After years of medical emergencies and family tragedies, including her brother being murdered, Tamara had built up a feeling of resentment as she had let the whirlwinds of life take over. Tamara had to reassess herself and her place in this whirlwind life and release the resentments that clouded her faith and her ability to follow the path, "to walk this path with you." Life will follow its own path; only faith will see you through it. Seems simple enough and it is.

Tamara has written a mother's compassionate memoir. Her story is very inspirational and will help us all through the trials of life. For this Arizona Young Mother of the Year, who at the award ceremony had only three minutes to speak publicly, she really has a lot to say and a lot to share. Most important is her message, which she keeps tacked on a board to remind her: "Don't let the whirlwinds drag you down."

Jessyca Garcia

Tamara Passey’s book, Mothering Through the Whirlwind, is filled with advice from a “Young Mother of the Year.” Yet this is not your typical self-help book. Passey shares her life experiences and offers her words of wisdom. Not once does she actually give advice. If the reader chooses to live by her example, then it is not because Passey told them to do so.

Normally I do not like books filled with advice. Too often it is as if the author is telling you what to do, and saying that what you actually do is wrong. Passey’s book, Mothering Through the Whirlwind, is different. Instead of telling you how to live life, she is offering her perspective on things. She also explains how she came to have that view on life. Some people may think the winner of the “Young Mother of the Year” award would and should be perfect. Passey shows that she is human in her book. She has lost a loved one in a brutal way, had a child with a serious health condition, and battled her own health problems. Still, she has the courage and strength to smile, live her life, and raise her children. I respect her enormously for this and wish I could be more like her.

I wish there were more books out there like Mothering Through the Whirlwind. I can definitely see why Passey won and deserves the “Young Mother of the Year” award. Passey has found the perfect way to write a book of advice; simply by sharing her life.