Notes From A Chameleon
by Ginnie Siena Bivona

Lone Star Productions, 2007. ISBN 978-0-978-96013-1.
Reviewed by Doris Anne Roop-Benner
Posted on 07/24/2009

Nonfiction: Memoir

This is a short book, but a very long story. It gives encouragement, hope and laughs. Bivona made me want to know more about her because I think, on some level, we can all relate to her journey.

In today's world it's hard to believe that girls didn't know a lot about boys, back when. But we didn't. In every action and implication from everyone who came into our little lives, we were to grow up, get married, have babies, be a good wife and maybe learn how to play bridge. First and foremost we were to be the helping hands and loving support of those boys that we knew nothing about. It was our job to make his life the best it could be. Make him the hero—that was a women's place.

There were rules for girls: never date a young man you wouldn't want to marry; always be a lady; be a virgin. For a future husband: look for a man with ambition who wants to have children. Bivona felt she was in protective custody—by her parents, the state, the Church, and finally her husband. So she played by the rules, found the right man, married him, had children, and lost her freedom. All she wanted to do was run away.

Bivona started looking at herself—really looking—on May 5, 1982 (the two-thousand-one-hundred and eighty-fourth Sunday of her life). And while she looked, she wrote. And she tells us that the person she wrote about back then no longer exists. Thus, the reference to a chameleon. She decided to change her life but it didn't automatically turn out better. On the amazing adventure of finding herself, she found some brick walls and she decided to learn to climb. She now had choices, but found it hard to make decisions when she had never known that she had that power. But she found out that what she didn't need was some man to fix her.

The last note in her book is the sincere wish that another woman will read her book and find in her heart and mind the courage to go about the business of making her life what she wants it to be, not what she was lead to believe it should be. Good advice!

Ginnie Siena Bivona loves to write. She also loves to laugh and most of her work reflects that too. Her personal passions are her amazing family, her beloved friends, writing almost anything except checks, cooking (especially for guests) and her rock collection. Through a series of exceptionally lucky breaks she is also a publisher. Life, she contends, just doesn't get much better than that. Visit her website.

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