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The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and…
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The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and Transformation

by Jodie Lee Patterson

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5015374,769 (4.19)7
"Jodie Patterson is the mother of five children, including her ten-year-old transgender son Penelope, the catalyst for the author's reexamination of identity within her own dynamic household--and the wider world. This inspiring and highly personal debut memoir goes on to examine Jodie's extended families' African American experiences with racism and civil rights, and her own coming of age in New York City in the 1970s and 80s, and later on as a wife, mother, and activist. With a novelist's sense of artful structure and pacing, Jodie turns her lens on a range of subjects--from the women who raised her and provided strength and comfort, all the while going against cultural norms and gender expectations, to her own children, who acted as a vehicle for Jodie's own growth and ultimately her acceptance of her very diverse family. The result is an exquisite study in transformation, identity, courage, and love"--… (more)

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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Jody Patterson has written a powerful story of her life honestly and provocatively. She was raised as a black child of privilege by a strong mother and an often unavailable father. Her poetic narrative focuses initially on her identity as a black child in a white world, then as a student at a primarily black college, and then as an ambitious, creative, talented professional, wife and mother. The book grew on me as she began recognizing that her 4 year old child, biologically identified as a girl, announced that he was a boy. The courage and inner strength, nonstop willingness to learn about her child's wants and needs, fears and strengths, and about the transgender community was impressive. I was deeply moved by this mother's love for her child and the courageous advocate she became. This was a beautifully written and very honest account and I'm so glad to have read it. ( )
  njinthesun | Aug 25, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
After reading the first several chapters of The Bold World, I was sure this was going to be another story of a female person of color facing the system and triumphing over it. Which is not a bad thing, and I believe such stories have tremendous value. But Jodie Patterson's story takes a turn when she must accept the truth that one of her children is trapped in a gender identity that is untrue to his true nature. Patterson takes the determination she has developed over years of navigating education, business, and relationships to educate herself and those around her about gender identity, while providing all of her children the love and support they need. ( )
  JSBancroft | Jun 15, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Biography and history of a remarkable woman and her family. She focuses on the strength, determination and resolve of her mother, grandmother and great grandmother. That inherited DNA helps define her identity, her solidity and softness, her energy, dreams and plans.

Jodie Patterson and older sister Ramona raised by a tough, smart and successful business owner father and a bright, beautiful mother; were encouraged, educated, and given opportunities many people don't get. Brought up to believe in themselves, their capabilities, their freedom to choose their paths in life. John Patterson had to be resilient and vigorous to succeed so he instilled these qualities in his daughters.

This book is about Jodie's life choices, her motivation to achieve and accomplish top notch goals through hard work at good jobs, and the amazing drive to be the best mother to her children. As most women know: this is not easily done. But Jodie is a perfectionist, doing so much for family, and for the folks she works for, always trying to live in the moment, and to the fullest. She doesn't want to let her mother, grandmother, great grandmother or her father down.

It should not be surprising how well she handles a unique challenge to her family; pushing to learn and implement the best approach. But... loving, well-intentioned Jodie pushes herself and her family too hard. She needs to stop and re-group.

Read this winner of a book to learn how Jodie maneuvers through rough waters to get her family safely across.

Powerful!
  Bookish59 | Jun 5, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is an interesting well written narrative of a black woman negotiating her way in the world as she relates to the strong women in her family who inspire her to tackle each set back in her life as a challenge to overcome. She comes from a relatively privileged background, but like all of us she suffers with ups and downs in her life as she combats marriage difficulties, raising 5 children, and finally raising a transgendered child. Her deepening commitment to her child's development and mental health lead Jodie to an expanding awareness of gender issues and the need to be an advocate on this important topic. Also she is not afraid to reveal her weaknesses and her need for family to support her as much as possible. ( )
  dallenbaugh | May 20, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a wonderful memoir. It’s not just about Patterson’s role as mom to a transgender child, though of course that story is compelling. I was equally moved by her stories about her life as a black girl/young woman/professional/partner/mother of five - always relatively privileged, but with her own challenges around family, identity, and purpose. And her writing is great enough to make that as much of a reason to read this as the timely, absorbing content. ( )
  ChristineCrofts | May 18, 2019 |
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