Reviewer Lois C. Henderson: Lois is a freelance academic editor and back-of-book indexer, who spends most of her free time compiling word search puzzles for tourism and educative purposes. Her puzzles are available HERE and HERE Her Twitter account (@LoisCHenderson) mainly focusses on the toponymy of British place names. Please feel welcome to contact her with any feedback at LoisCourtenayHenderson@gmail.com.
Author: Judge Marylin E.Atkins
Author: Judge Marylin E.Atkins
The law is seen as a formidable profession by many, offering ethical dilemmas aplenty, but it is also a field that attracts the finest minds and spirits of the nation. Such a one is retired longest serving chief judge of Detroit's 36 th District Court, Judge Marylin E. Atkins, whoseinsightful memoir provides fascinating details of a biracial woman who managed to emerge from an abused background to become a loving mother of two highly gifted girls, whom she managed to put through university after the death of her husband, former Roman Catholic priest Thomas Lee Atkins, twenty-five years her senior. Atkins’ chief attributes, apart from her faith in an omniscient and omnipotent God, are her undaunted spirit and her determination to overcome the odds, even when they all seem stacked against her.
The prejudice and discrimination that Atkins has had to overcome in her lifetime would have discouraged many less doughty souls to give up the struggle to live life as they saw fit, in accordance with a set of high principles and a powerfully moral, yet not moralistic, outlook onlife. Her deep-seated commitment to forging the best way forward not only for herself, but also for those whom she has loved, and, in many cases, whom she continues to love, should serve to make her a prominent role model for others who have also found adversity threatening to impede their way forward, whether on the domestic front or in the workplace.
The Triumph of Rosemary: A Memoir is amply illustrated with black-and-white photos of Atkins and her family throughout their life, which amply illustrate the joy and camaraderie that radiate therefrom. Likewise, the portraits well illuminate the measured tone and cadenceof the text, which has an integrity all of its own. Atkins’ use of subheadings throughout the chapters helps direct the reader along the path of the straightforward chronological narrative, which leaves no stone and obstacle unturned and inspected from afar as the author, at the age of 71, regales us with the rich and deeply poignant tale of her personal evolution from adopted child to one of the most prominent legal figures in Detroit’s history.
Truly, The Triumph of Rosemary (which, by the way, is the name given to her by her adoptive mom) is a work well worth reading, and Atkins’ fluent writing style does much to complement her story. An ideal choice for any enlightened book club that is interested incoming to grips with the mores of a changing society in the second half of the twentieth century, this heart-searing memoir should elicit many a memory of past challenges brought about by living in a society that struggled, at times, to come to grips with its own multicultural diversity.