A remarkably poignant writer for our troubled times, Patti Davis writes about love, loss, and the power of redemption in this poetic letter to her long-gone parents.
Written with dignity and grace in the form of a letter to her parents, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Dear Mom and Dad
is that surprisingly poignant work that succeeds not only as a memoir but as a moving account that will inspire readers to recall their own childhoods in a totally new light.
Eager to retell the narrative of her own family and her coming-of-age, Patti Davis casts aside misperceptions that defined her in the past. Far from being the enfant terrible, Dear Mom and Dad
reveals young Patti as a sensitive child, who was not able to be the public person her family demanded. Just as she re-examines her own role in an increasingly dysfunctional family drama, Davis casts an empathetic yet honest eye on her parents—on her father, the eternal lifeguard, who saved seventy-seven people, yet failed to create a coherent AIDS policy, and her mother, who never escaped her own tortured youth.
What comes across are Davis’s burnished skills as a writer, something she always dreamed of becoming. Even as she unravels her mother’s highly edited persona, and her father’s loving but distant personality, Davis remains steadfast in her artistic expression, as she melds irony, comedy, and tragedy with dreamlike memories of an ever-present past. Dear Mom and Dad
, with its account of her father’s Alzheimer's and her mother’s end-of-life struggles, becomes an account of forgiveness, reaching levels of redemption rarely found in contemporary memoirs.