Cherokee and Christie Review My Family Compass by Ann Stone
MY FAMILY COMPASS demonstrates the journey a family member takes to break free of the cycle of family dysfunction. Through a combination of story telling, poetry, and inspirational pieces, the author takes the reader through her growth and understanding of the reasons for the unraveling of parts of her family. Her clarity and honesty can serve as a guidepost for others who are on the same quest to comprehend the dynamics of their own family circle and how to make sure the cycle of dysfunction does not continue into succeeding generations.
– Carol Schultz Vento, daughter of WWII Veteran and author of The Hidden Legacy of WWII
I encountered an array of emotions while reading this memoir‐ relief, sadness, empathy, and thrill. Some of the family dysfunctions were relatable for me and my family; others were situations that I have heard of happening in other families. The message I gained while reading this book is that you can use your family traditions and cultures to help mold your path, but you don’t have to let your family’s setbacks hold you back; Instead, you can learn from them and end a dangerous, repeating cycle. The whole point here is to be aware of the problems in your family and do not allow them to be replicated.
My favorite parts of the book were when we are introduced to Ann’s mother, which is in a chapter called “The Family Ballad.” This part kind of disguises the true feelings of the author and grabs the reader through optimism. Then, once the real drama unfolds, the reader is quite surprised. I enjoy the suspenseful delivery Ann uses. It is rather engaging. I also appreciated the part where Ann Stone writes a letter to her mother because the letter enlightened the reader and this was where the climax arose. The letter Ann writes helps us understand her mother’s behaviors a little more, opens the reader up to Ann’s true feelings about her family, and expands more on the curses that disrupted their family structure. This letter also exposed more of Ann’s mother’s actual mistakes. In addition to this, I also really enjoyed MY FAMILY COMPASS and the hopeful message at the end and Ann’s use of relevant quotes and poems to describe her experience.
– Leah, Palmetto Review