Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies

Mothers of Sparta

Discovered by Michael Ondaatje, Davies’ dazzling literary memoir has shades of Mary Karr, Anne Lamott, and Jenny Lawson.Some women are born mothers, some achieve motherhood, others have motherhood thrust upon them. Dawn Davies is in the third category. A six-foot-tall divorcee, she isn’t chatty, couldn’t care less about anyone’s potty training progress, doesn’t care to share her own children’s milestones with people who don’t love t...

Details Mothers of Sparta

TitleMothers of Sparta
Release DateJan 30th, 2018
PublisherFlatiron Books
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Writing, Essays

Reviews Mothers of Sparta

  • Selena
    I received a free ARC copy of Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies from Goodreads for my honest review. Mothers of Sparta is a collection of sad and funny personal essays that define Dawn Davies' life. This is a very different book and although I did find it very sad, it is brilliantly written.
  • Lynne
    This is the first book I have read that both wrenches your gut with heartbreak and makes you laugh out loud at the humor at the same time. Dawn Davies reveals her life in graphic detail, all her most intimate thoughts on childbirth, divorce, raising a blended family and a life full of pets. She writes her memoir in loosely connected chapters from various points in her life. Some are hilarious accounts of everyday life events interspersed with tra...
  • Amy Morgan
    Thank you Edelweiss for my review copy of this book. Mothers of Sparta was an engaging and entertaining read.Dawn Davies tells the story of her life from her childhood that was not made easy as she moved towns every couple of years and never seemed to quite fit in - whether it was with the kids in each new town or the other people she meets as she progresses into motherhood.We see the moments of Dawn's life through the stories in this book that t...
  • Jessica
    All my reviews can be found at:**Please note that this is not a review of the whole memoir, just the sample that Flatiron Books released.**Flatiron Books advertised on their Facebook page about the Mothers of Sparta sampler: A Piece of Pie just in time for Thanksgiving. This sampler of Dawn Davies’ upcoming memoir was published on November 21st and is 18 pages long. This is the perfect time for this sampler to...
  • Cheryl
    This is a light read. I breezed through this book in almost one sitting. Although, I will tell you that there were a few moments that were few and far between that I really liked reading about and can remember. Otherwise, the majority of the book was "fine". Not that I am taking anything away from the author and her story but when I am reading a memoir, I want to connect on a personal and emotional level. I really did not experience this while re...
  • Kathy
    I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.Three and a half stars.The book jacket for Dawn Davies' essays led me to believe this would be a series of essays about an angst-filled and reluctant mother, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a set of eclectic personal essays that range in topics and tone. The essays are not necessarily sequential and the end result is a kaleidoscopic view of Davies' life - she honestly re...
  • Carin
    I do love a memoir, so even though this is a memoir in a series of essays instead of a straight narrative, I was excited. Even though it was about motherhood, I was still really looking forward to it. And I liked the first few essays a lot. Ms. Davies is not a typical soccer mom and she doesn't make any excuses for that. The story about all the household pets that kept dying was hilarious (yes, also sad. But also funny.) And the story about when ...
  • Ruth Woodman York
    I received an advance copy of this book through a giveaway on Goodreads. The book seemed slow to start, and disjointed, as the timeline was not linear. I think I would have enjoyed it better if the timeline hadn't jumped around so. Also, one chapter, I only read half, then skipped the rest, as I honestly did not need to know what famous people the author would have gladly had sex with. It didn't seem to even be a part of the rest of her story. Th...
  • Laura Schrillo
    I have read the other reviews of this book and I guess I am the exception. I hated this from the first sentence but I tried to read on. The first sentence by the way is this gem, "It is a moonless night, dark and rare, and the heat is oppressive, the kind of heat where a deep breath leaves you unsatisfied, suspicious that there was nothing life-giving at all in what you've inhaled, and you are left air-hungry, wet at the pits, forehead greasy wit...
  • Merry Miller moon
    Thank you to Goodreads for the free ARC. I had never heard of this author before. But, you can bet I will look for more books from her in the future. ***POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD*** This is a memoir of sorts. As she has chosen certain elements of her life to elaborate on. I cracked up reading the chapter entitled 'Men I Would Have Slept With'-and she mentions Sitting Bull. Who hasn't made up such a list at one time or another in their life? :) Thin...
  • Lindsey
    I was deeply affected by Dawn Davies's collection of biographical essays. I'm a single mom. Full stop. My child's father hasn't seen her since she was 6 weeks old, he has never given me any financial support, my parents live 5 1/2 hours away, and I have no other family in my city. I work full time. I have a chronic illness. I suffer from depression, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, and OCPD. Sometimes, I can go days without speaking to any hum...
  • Tonstant Weader
    Dawn Davies describes her Mothers of Sparta as a “memoir in pieces,” an excellent way of describing this collection of essays that taken together share many important elements in her life. I think many women will recognize themselves in the fierceness of Davies’ maternal love, the joy, the pride, the sacrifice, and the pain. In some of these essays, she scrapes herself raw to tell the honest story of her life.Davies captured my heart with t...
  • Christie
    So this is more of a 3.5 star book for me, but I'm going to round up. I really enjoyed diving into the author's life, at different stages, through some really lovely writing. Although I'm not a mother and didn't connect directly to the author's experiences in motherhood, I appreciated her vulnerable, fans accounting of things that happened. I also appreciate hearing about someone else's battle with kidney stones, and learning about fostering anim...
  • Leah
    This book isn't a funny or happy go lucky memoir. Rather, this book is at times funny, at times heart-breaking, at times hard to read, and always very real. It is a memoir about those times and struggles that we all go through, and those times you dearly hope no one you love ever has to go through. This book isn't for someone just looking for a light easy read, but it is beautifully written and worth every second. I thought this book was going to...
  • Ruthie
    Mothers of Sparta is a series of essays that form a memoir. Dawn Davies offers glimpses into her life at various crucial moments. Some funny incidents are included, but overall the tone is of despair, anger, loneliness and frustration. Davies writes in both the first and second person, and for me this was a problem. Many times while reading I felt like I was listening to a very long “voice-over”, the type offered T.V shows such as Grey’s An...
  • Benjamin Bookman
    Wow. This book took some turns. No spoilers, I promise, but the chapter that forms the basis for the title is a clear game changer. At first I was a little annoyed that so much was left for the very end, but I have come to realize that it was in a way probably for the best. Not only for the author, but for the reader. I suspect my perceptions would have been dramatically altered if this had been written differently. That being said, I wish that c...
  • Elizabeth
    3.5/5 I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. I'm torn on this one. It was a well-written quick read and the author's life is interesting, but I can't get over the fact that she was the cause of death for 4 hamsters and 4 (?) pet birds. I know, a weird thing to fixate on, but it bothered me in a memoir about being an mom who would do anything for her kids (but not their pets?). Anyway, the title essay deals with heavy stuff, so you'v...
  • lisa
    I won this ARC from a giveaway by the publisher listed on Shelf Awareness. I knew nothing about it going in, and while I admired the writing, the underlying tone was so pathetic, and sad, and desperate, that I ended up not liking it. I think Dawn Davies was trying to draw humor out of her sad experiences, and someone else reading this may find her pieces funny, but I did not. From witnessing a young woman get hit by a truck, to being left with th...
  • Nicole Wagner
    This is a memoir, presented in chapters that present as short stories but read like excerpts from a woman's diary over the decades of her life from childhood up to middle age. This book took me to some deep places emotionally, as a girl, as a mother, as an animal lover, as a student of history and sociology, as someone who has had my heart broken and laughed at the same time. It surprised me with its intensity. I am tempted to reread it, but it w...
  • Juju
    Let me start off by saying I read every book sent to me. I started mothers of Sparta and even though I had never heard of the author I still gave it a chance. I have no idea why this book was published. I learned no great lessons and it was just a lot of this authors irrational fears. When it got to the chapter called “Men I Would Have Slept With” and then proceeded to list 45 men she would have slept with and why I put it down and refused to...
  •  Eileen
    4.5 stars I read so many books that I honestly don't remember a lot of them. This book, however, I will remember because of some of the stories the author told. There was one story in the book that I thought was unnecessary, but all of the other ones were sad, funny and memorable. Some people are fans of short stories and I am not really one of them - but I liked this book. I do wish that Dawn Davies had written a complete memoir because I want t...
  • Lee
    Two books written as one. Fine author with a nack for neat descriptions and a flair for humor. The chapters do not follow in chronological order but are snippets from a full life, be it single, as a single mother or as a family. Some sections I heartily recommend but I have reservations about others but worth the time spent reading.
  • Miller Wallace
    Mothers of Sparta was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. This memoir was not sugarcoated and it described life with honesty- the good, the bad, and the ugly. It appealed to me in particular due to my state in life (thirty something married mom). It is definitely a book worth reading - any mom can relate and will appreciate this book.
  • Jim
    I won this book on Goodreads. An interesting look into the author's life. From her personal struggles, to issues with her family and witnessing a young woman's death. This is a honest peek through the eyes of the author.
  • Mandie
    You know when you read something and the way it’s written warms your soul? This book was my something. Laughter, tears, shock, and knowing “those feels” were just the tip of the emotional roller coaster these stories put you on. I would gladly ride this ride again.
  • Jodi Malec
    This was the first giveaway book that I won. It is collection of essays describing pieces of the authors life. I loved it! So very honest and relatable. I laughed and cried... Such a great read.
  • Liz Bartek
    Humorous at times and incredibly moving when serious. I look forward to seeing the well-deserved attention this memoir will receive.
  • Beth
    A Memoir in PiecesDawn Davies has put together an outstanding selection of vignettes from her life - the memoir in pieces, called "Mothers of Sparta." Only one of the pieces refers to the ancient Greek city-state of Sparta, but Davies compares and contrasts some of its methodology for raising warriors to her own very personal struggles raising an autistic son. Her writing feels honest and straightforward with well-turned phrases and true emotion....
  • Patricia Smith
    One of the best books I've read in a long time! Dawn Davies is a smart, insightful, brave, and very funny writer. This collection of essays had me laughing out loud and simultaneously holding my breath. For anyone who has raised children or knows someone who has raised children-- this book is for you. MOTHERS OF SPARTA is an unflinching look at one mother's experience. It is an exceptional debut memoir, lyrically written and told with gut-punch h...