Author: Sparrow Starfell Sardothian
Review by Julie Carpenter
Memoir is one of the most difficult forms of literature, if not the most difficult. Even if you have a tale to tell – and this author has an amazing one – it’s tough to move outside yourself to see your life as a story. But fortunately for the reader, Sparrow has a natural instinct for storytelling and an incredible life. These two threads come together to create Floating Candle – a memoir that’s gripping and painful, but also uplifting.
As a child, the author went blind and she conveys the raw devastation of the loss, the family drama that ensued, and the life of poverty that complicated everthing else. She comes across as real, resilient, and ultimately unbeaten. She is blatantly honest about both her triumphs and mistakes. About the times she was despairing and the times the universe seemed to throw her a lifeline.
She begins with her life growing up as a child in the nineties – watching cartoons, hanging out in the neighborhood, and learning to skate so well she was the star of the rink, and then the impact of the blindness, from the physical aspects to the bullying she went through at school. The book – though not the story - ends with her reaching an independent adulthood where she has learned to become herself.
She discusses the anxiety of poverty and never quite knowing security. She is forthright about her relationships and the good and bad choices she made, honestly discussing how she learned to find herself and understand her worth as a woman. This is more than just a journey about learning to deal with a disability, it’s about learning self-worth and self-love and becoming the person you want to be.
As in every good story, her struggles are universal but also specific, from her family life – both loving and troubled – to her struggle for independence, complicated by blindness. Floating Candle is an incredible journey, well-served by the metaphor of a candle, improbably buoyed by the water that might destroy it.
Sparrow Starfell Sardothian is a massage therapist and an author. You can follow her at Author Sparrow Sardothian on Facebook.