I love to read memoirs. There's something about "hearing" someone's story in his own words that I really enjoy. A really good memoir helps me to relate to the author and find similarities between his story and my own- aha! moments where I realize that I'm not the only one who thinks or feels a certain way.
The Time Mom Met Hitler, Frost Came to Dinner, and I Heard the Greatest Story Ever Told appealed to me right away because (1) it was a memoir and (2) because that title just begs for the story to be read. I have to admit that I hadn't heard of the author- Dikkon Eberhart, who has published some fiction- or his father, a poet of some renown. But I did investigate both of them more thoroughly after I read the memoir. I found information about and some poetry of Richard Eberhart here. And I found more about Dikkon Eberhart here (along with great photos that help me visualize the events in the memoir). Dikkon has a blog, by the way. I also found Dikkon Eberhart's Amazon page with this book and his two works of fiction.
From the book's description:
As the son of the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Richard Eberhart, Dikkon Eberhart grew up surrounded by literary giants. Dinner guests included, among others, Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, W. H. Auden, and T. S. Eliot, all of whom flocked to the Eberhart house to discuss, debate, and dissect the poetry of the day. To the world, they were literary icons. To Dikkon, they were friends who read him bedtime stories, gave him advice, and, on one particularly memorable occasion, helped him with his English homework. Anxious to escape his famous father’s shadow, Dikkon struggled for decades to forge an identity of his own, first in writing and then on the stage, before inadvertently stumbling upon the answer he’d been looking for all along―in the most unlikely of places. Brimming with unforgettable stories featuring some of the most colorful characters of the Beat Generation, The Time Mom Met Hitler, Frost Came to Dinner, and I Heard the Greatest Story Ever Told is a winsome coming-of-age story about one man’s search for identity and what happens when he finally finds it.
Dikkon seems open and honest in his memoir. He grew up living in the shadow of his father, a great poet. He had a difficult time establishing his own identity. It's a feeling that many of us have- even if we are born to different circumstances. This made the book quite easy to relate to.
The author is an awesome story teller. And his life has held many great stories. Because of his father's literary renown, Dikkon's life has been an interesting one- filled with great poets and authors and others that most people only dream of meeting in person. As he narrates through his life, the reader is entertained, moved, and inspired by these stories. My interest was definitely held throughout the book.
But the greatest story in the book- in my estimation- is the story of Dikkon's personal journey to salvation. As the son of a poet and an actor and author himself, Dikkon had what some may call an intellectual's view of God and religion. Throughout his life- his triumphs and struggles and his journey to find his own identity, Dikkon is seeking- for what he isn't sure.
I loved the story of Dikkon's faith journey. Often salvation stories are purely emotional. And it's true that coming to Christ is an emotionally moving event. But Dikkon examines the truths of God and the Bible in an intellectual way. Throughout his life he's moving ever in that direction- through a distant belief in a distant God, through Judaism, and finally to acceptance of Christ as his Savior. And, even though he describes the emotions of the moment of salvation, he also relates the intellectual impact of the event and the follow up of the decision on his wife and children- already grown.
All of Dikkon's stories, throughout this memoir, are well worth reading. They entertained me and sometimes touched me. They motivated me to seek out new knowledge and to become aware of the poetry of Dikkon's father. And Dikkon's faith story especially touched my heart.
I give this read 5 stars and a PG rating. You can find the book on Amazon here.
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