I love a memoir with a good story or stories embedded in it. Of course, I want to know the basics – how it all started, what happened along the way, and where we are now. But beyond the “this happened” and “then this happened”, I want to know how all those events, large and small, wove into something intricate, complex and beautiful. This truly is the magic of a well-written memoir and Sharon Nesbit-Davis’ Intended is just that magic.
In her brief story-chapters, Sharon shows us her life on the bridge between so many worlds: her inner and outer worlds are equally alive; her youthful mind is as fresh and perceptive as her older mind is wise; and her life on the bridge between races is as rich in meaning and insight as any I have known. She shares her joy, stubbornness, mistakes, and despair equally. In making her personal stories so specific, so vulnerable and honest, she brings us, the readers, to the point where we can step beyond her details into the power of a fully human life and all of its power and possibilities.
I laughed. I cried. And when the book ended, I set it down, full of hope and inspiration – for all of us.
I’ve been a friend to Sharon throughout the writing of these stories. I thought I knew every one of them. I did, in the particular way of helping where I could as she wrote them. What I didn’t get is the power of reading the entire collection. From the little white girl who loves a black doll to the woman who quietly takes her husband’s hand when he says, “I’m not ready to talk about it,” Davis doesn’t beat you over the head with how you should behave or think in this world of Black and White. She shares her stories – her insightful, touching, brave, funny stories. Take what you will from them. I know you’ll be happy you did.
Covering a 60 year journey that inevitably leads to inter-racial love, marriage, and family, Nesbit-Davis is a master story-teller...She is a professional mime; her stories are very much in the same tradition. Like Charlie Chaplin, she relies heavily on her heartfelt empathy, frequently causing the reader to laugh and cry simultaneously. Like a mime performance, each chapter is brief, very focused, and often ends with a "kicker" that brings a smile.
This is a "must read" for anyone seeking personal insights about the reality of inter-racial marriages and families in America since the latter part of the 20th century to the present day.