I am not a big reader of memoirs. My preference is for reading fiction, mostly novels, perhaps because I’m always intrigued by how the authors came up with their ideas and how they chose to tell the story. The story itself is not an issue with memoirs (although the process of choosing what to include and what not must be really complicated), but the way the story is told is very important, especially because we’re unlikely to keep reading a narrative about somebody we don’t feel any connection with or any affinity and sympathy/empathy for. That might not be so crucial if the protagonist is somebody famous, as we might be interested in knowing about them even if we don’t particularly like them (or, precisely because we don’t like them, and we want to see if we are justified in our feelings for them), but if we don’t know the person, the author needs to be able to make us feel and connect with their story/history, at least in my opinion.
And Judy Haveson definitely does that. I checked a short sample of the book before deciding if I wanted to review it or not, and it was a quick decision. She and I might hail from different parts of the world (Texas, in her case), be born in fairly different families (hers is a Jewish family, and she had an older sister), have taken career paths with few similarities (she started as an intern at a radio station, then worked for a music publisher, gala dress company, a PR company looking after a variety of clients...), and her personal life is not close to mine either, but I could easily imagine chatting to her, listening to her tell her story (in the first person, of course), and, as the title goes, laugh, cry and rewind with her.
Because, yes, there are moments in the story that made me cry (Judy goes through severe trauma when she is very young, then she experiences an unexpected loss that lives a void in her life that is never filled, and there are even more losses later in life), and many that made me chuckle as well. In her description, she talks about being witty, or perhaps sarcastic, and I think there’s a bit of both because sometimes she is unable to rein in her “wit” no matter how inconvenient the moment or how likely her words are to get her into trouble. Some of her comments make one gasp, but they are always funny, and those who know her appreciate her for it. (And it seems that she takes after her father in that aspect, although her mother shows her wit quite a few times as well).
Readers who have suffered trauma due to sexual abuse/rape and/or have lost somebody close recently, and women who have had difficult pregnancies might need to be cautious when reading this memoir. The story is positive and uplifting, but I have already said it made me cry, and I suspect I am not alone in that.
I recommend this book to habitual readers of memoirs, especially those growing up in the 70s and 80s in the USA, although anybody who enjoys a non-fictional story with a lot of heart and a protagonist with a wicked sense of humour and a particular set of priorities (washing her hear beats going to watch a beautiful sunset, and a manicure beats almost anything...) should give it a try. You’re likely to be as amused, charmed, and moved as I was.
This lovely memoir shares the growing relationship between two sisters and much more. It’s well-written and felt honest and heartfelt.
As I read the first few pages I wondered if the story was going to interest me. But I quickly realized that the first few chapters were necessary and set the foundation for the story.
The deeper I got into the book the more I was drawn to Judy and her life’s journey. The title is entirely fitting. Not only was Judy’s life filled with laughter and tears, but as her story unfolds, if you’re like me, you too will share those emotions.
I recommend this to anyone who likes reading interesting, inspirational, memoirs.
This is a raw account of Judy Haveson’s life and she brings her reader along for it all. There are ups and downs, heartbreaking moments and moments that give you hope.
Haveson really powers through her life and takes the bad and perseveres, it’s inspirational.
The low moments brought tears to my eyes, but at other moments she made me laugh out loud.
In Laugh Cry Rewind, we are taken on Judy's soul-searching journey. The choice to give up or keep going. Family, commitment, endurance and forgiveness are all touched on in this moving memoir.
Told with honesty and humor, I couldn't put this book down. I appreciate the author's courage to share the deepest, darkest parts of her past. The content is emotional and deep yet balanced with a lightheartedness that keeps you turning the pages. I loved watching her and her sister’s relationship grow.
I appreciated the backstory as it served as the foundation of Judy’s life and the choices she makes. I admire her ability to find the positive in the worst of situations while using those to become a better person. Like all of us, her life is full of laughter and upset as she progresses through life.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys inspirational memoirs. I find myself inspired by this author and their story.
Poignant, heartfelt, and emotionally driven, author Judy Haveson’s “Laugh, Cry, Rewind: A Memoir” is a must-read nonfiction book. The sense of history and culture through the author’s own background and the rich setting of her life helped elevate this personal story of growth and hope in the wake of tragedy and kept me as a reader emotionally invested and connected as an older brother to a truly remarkable sister myself. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!