Title: Mamas’ Drama
Author: Nanette Marie
Format: Audiobook ( Unabridged )
Publisher: Real Good Productions LLC
Publication Date: December 2015
Audiobook Run Time: 7 hours 35 minutes
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Mamas’ Drama intrigued me from the start. This wasn’t just because the audio book was a full cast production, though that always intrigues me. At its core, Mamas’ Drama is a story about family, and some of the hardships a family can endure. It’s a story about change as well, as it shows us how events that take place early in someone’s life can shape them as they grow older.
Another intriguing aspect of Mamas’ Drama is the passage of time. The story begins in 1929, during prohibition, and spans all the way until around 2003. You get to see almost the entire lives of some of these characters, and consider how they were affected by the time they lived in. It’s another great draw to this story.
I guess what I’m saying is that, overall, Mamas’ Drama is a fantastic story. The characters may be a little crazy by my standards, but I enjoyed the book all the way through, and would ultimately gladly recommend it to other readers and/or listeners.
Of course, a review wouldn’t be a review without some criticism, which I believe is fair here. First, I actually don’t like the title much. Mamas’ Drama is catchy because it rhymes, and I concede it basically fits the theme, but I don’t think it’s the best title this story could have had. In fact, the best title is actually a line spoken in the book by Josephine’s friend Cheryl. The book, in my humble opinion, should have been called Josephine’s Drama.
Josephine is, without a doubt, the main character of this story. She is the most interesting of all of them, with Suzette coming in second, and Josephine is the most developed. When the story begins, we learn of a secret involving Josephine and her parents. If we stick to the title, Mamas’ Drama, then my focus should have been on Josephine’s mother. However, I found myself far, far more interested in, and concerned for, Josephine herself. How was she going to handle this? What was going to happen to her? I didn’t feel connected to her mother as much, perhaps because of my own disapproval of her activities. Josephine, though, was an innocent child, doomed to live with this in one way or another, and that was what pulled me in.
It could of course be argued that Josephine does eventually become a mama herself, but the fact that she isn’t when the story begins, and that her story feels like the one that matters the whole way through, leads me to believe Josephine’s Drama would have been a much better title.
There is one major issue I took with the writing of this book. While I really, truly enjoyed the story, I did not enjoy how each and every character was constantly on a literary dissection table. We, the readers, are not allowed to infer anything, or draw any conclusions for ourselves. Each and every single motivation, even the obvious ones, and almost each and every thought, is spoon fed to us. I felt as though Ms. Marie did not trust her readers to understand, well, literally anything. I want my understanding of characters to grow based on the actions they take, and the things they say. I don’t want that understanding to be forced upon me. I feel this made all the characters a bit less interesting than they could have been.
There are other, minor things, but again, I did enjoy Mamas’ Drama, and I do recommend it. The story is intriguing with multiple turns and twists, and for a group of “friends,” the acting is, for the most part, pretty good. There are even a couple monologues near the end that are really something special. Check this one out, and get wrapped up in Josephine’s… Er, Mamas’ Drama for yourself.
Buy it now at:
Amazon ( Paperback, Kindle & Audible Audiobook )