Boots My Mother Gave Me was a powerful and
poignant story of a young girl’s turbulent life as she struggles to find that
one special thing she was born to do. It was so emotional, yet beautiful to
read that I was a puddle, exhausted, and completely wrung dry by the end. It is
one of those books you can’t put down for even a minute, it completely hooked
me. The story explored some darker topics such as alcoholism, abuse, and
suicide, and yet the dialog was witty, frank, and at times very funny.
It is a hard plot to describe because it had so much to it. Was it a love
story?…yes and so much more , a family’s story?… absolutely and so much more…
but in the middle of it all was a strong loving daughter, sister,
granddaughter, friend, and lover named Harley LeBeau. It brought out the same
type of sensations I felt when I read The Sweet Gum Tree, a huge favorite of mine. There were some basic similarities in plot;
small town, friends to lovers, BEST hero in the world, but it was the emotion,
the lump in the throat that made me draw the comparison.
Harley was a tomboy and grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania in what I would
call a bipolar family because at times it was completely dysfunctional with an
abusive father and weak mother and at other times completely normal, with
generous, teaching and loving parents. A lot of time was spent on the
relationships Harley had with all of her family members and flashbacks to her
younger years. Brooklyn James, the author, was exceptional in showing many
dimensions to her characters. Harley’s dad was not a good father, but I felt
for him. Her mother was weak, but in the end the decisions she had to make were
due to her strength. Harley was strong and extraordinary, but lost and always
running. She had so many talents and she wanted out of her small town and small
life so bad, but she had no destination or plan. THIS was the real story,
Harley’s adventure and quest to find herself with the boots her mother gave
My favorite part though, was Harley and Jeremiah’s (Miah) romance. They were
friends since they were 4 years old. Jeremiah was Harley’s everything, heck he
was my everything after reading this book. He was her best friend, her
protector, her anchor, her lover, and in a house with stone walls,
Jeremiah gave her a soft place to fall. They were two souls so connected that
they were meant to be one, just with a long, winding journey in between.
Although I wouldn’t say the sex scenes were detailed or enflaming. They were
tastefully written, stirring and got better as Harley and Miah grew older. I
would have loved for Miah and Harley to have been together much more in the
book because he was such a good guy. I could have read a book where every
sentence was about him, but there was a genuine blend of Harley’s experiences
and loves that kept me turning until they would meet again and again.
This is the first book written by Brooklyn James, which just amazes me. She
isn’t just a talented writer, but also a songwriter, and singer. She actually
has a soundtrack for the book and there were song lyrics throughout. It was beautiful and fulfilling to listen
to the songs as I read the book. They can be found on her website, www.brooklyn-james.com. I read from her website that the book is fictional with true life
experiences and the boots do exist and were her mother’s.
I can’t recommend this book enough and it is deserving of more than 5 stars.