Mosaic: Pieces Of My Life So Far
By: Amy Grant
Water Brook Press, 2007
ISBN: 978 1 4000 7360 3
Buy Link for paperback (Flying Dolphin Press, Oct. 7, 2008): http://www.amazon.com/Mosaic-Pieces-My-Life-Far/dp/0767929675
I have followed Amy Grant since my college days. I owned cassette tapes of most of her early recordings and even saw her in concert once. Her songs have always spoken to me. She is down home, earthy and real. I kind of lost track of her for several years, but I knew she had gotten divorced from Gary Chapman and remarried to country star Vince Gill. I must confess I wanted to read this book partly to get the details on her breakup, her children’s adjustment and the remarriage. The more I read the book the more I realized she wasn’t going to reveal much of that and then as I read her words I thought, Good for you Amy, you don’t owe me an explanation on your personal life or private pain. Who are we (fans) to think we have the right to know these things? Sorry Amy!
This book is not a novel nor is it an autobiography, but I feel it may be of interest to many readers and therefore worthy of a review on this site. It is, as the title says, pieces of her life. Instead of going into great personal detail of any one event Amy talks about memories of various people she has encountered in her life. Some are family members or people she has known her whole life and others are one time chance meetings with strangers that impacted her in some way. The book is not chronological but simply a mosaic fit together Amy style. Between chapters readers will find the lyrics of more than 30 songs as well as some poems and quotes. The center of the book features 16 pages of color photographs. There are also small black and white photos at the start of each chapter.
The book title is perfect for this journal style writing and the cover photo of Amy pictured in a casual skirt, barefoot and smiling captures the mood of the book. It is interesting the way Amy wove song lyrics, poems, thoughts and photos into this project. Fans will be pleased to see that the book gives insight into the inspiration behind many of Amy’s popular songs. The format flows smoothly from memory to memory. She mentions memories from her childhood, vacations, her career, her own children, her husband, friends and fans. I read the book in bits and snatches reflecting on her descriptions and her faith. It’s not a book that demands to be read all at once, but rather a book you could enjoy over several days. Readers may bookmark some sections to come back to for a reread.
In Mosaic Amy humbly shares stories about her life, places she has been and people she has had the privilege to meet. She shares her thoughts on an encounter with a homeless man, a friend’s battle with cancer and a visit with an elderly fan. She shares family memories of birthdays, vacations, weddings and funerals. Fame and music allowed Amy the opportunity to meet many famous people including, Reverend Billy Graham, Presidents Bush and Clinton, Tony Bennett, Kevin Costner, Michael Jordan, the Andretti family, and more. The book captures Amy’s special memories, Amy’s powerful music, and Amy’s deep faith.
Amy admits that there have been rough times in her life but in writing the book she doesn’t ask for sympathy or make excuses. She is human and admits to human struggles in her life. Her honest admission of her feelings of failure and even depression made her all the more human to me. I think all readers who have struggles in this life (which I think is all of us) will easily relate to this book. Family, faith and music are extremely important to Amy Grant and this book weaves them together in an uplifting fashion. Sharing pieces of your life means the happy and the sad, the fame and the failures. For Amy, these emotions have often been captured in her lyrics and now they are also shared in this book.
All in all I found this to be a moving book that gives a glimpse into the person behind the fame. Reading it might cause readers to look at their own life and think what they would include in their mosaic? As I read her writings, I paused to recall some of my good, my bad, my joys and my sorrows – so far. Self reflection is a good thing; disclosing it for others to read is courageous. Whether or not you call yourself an Amy Grant fan I suggest giving Mosaic a try. I enjoyed it so much I might even check her schedule and see about getting some tickets next time she comes to a city near me.