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Will the Circle Be Unbroken?: A Memoir of Learning to Believe You’re Gonna Be Okay

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From celebrated storyteller "Sean of the South" comes an unforgettable memoir of love, loss, the friction of family memories, and the unlikely hope that you're gonna be alright. Sean Dietrich was twelve years old when he scattered his father's ashes from the mountain range. His father was a man who lived for baseball, a steel worker with a ready wink, who once scaled a fift From celebrated storyteller "Sean of the South" comes an unforgettable memoir of love, loss, the friction of family memories, and the unlikely hope that you're gonna be alright. Sean Dietrich was twelve years old when he scattered his father's ashes from the mountain range. His father was a man who lived for baseball, a steel worker with a ready wink, who once scaled a fifty-foot tree just to hang a tire swing for his son. He was also the stranger who tried to kidnap and kill Sean's mother before pulling the trigger on himself. He was a childhood hero, now reduced to a man in a box. Will the Circle Be Unbroken? is the story of what happens after the unthinkable, and the journey we all must make in finding the courage to stop the cycles of the past from laying claim to our future. Sean was a seventh-grade drop-out, a dishwasher then a construction worker to help his mother and sister scrape by, and a self-described "nobody with a sad story behind him." Yet he cannot deny the glimmers of life's goodness even amid its rough edges. Such goodness becomes even harder to deny when Sean meets the love of his life at a fried chicken church potluck, and harder still when his lifelong love of storytelling leads him to stages across the southeast, where he is known and loved as "Sean of the South." A story that will stay with you long after the final page, Will the Circle Be Unbroken? testifies to the strength that lives within us all to make our peace with the past and look to the future with renewed hope and wonder.


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From celebrated storyteller "Sean of the South" comes an unforgettable memoir of love, loss, the friction of family memories, and the unlikely hope that you're gonna be alright. Sean Dietrich was twelve years old when he scattered his father's ashes from the mountain range. His father was a man who lived for baseball, a steel worker with a ready wink, who once scaled a fift From celebrated storyteller "Sean of the South" comes an unforgettable memoir of love, loss, the friction of family memories, and the unlikely hope that you're gonna be alright. Sean Dietrich was twelve years old when he scattered his father's ashes from the mountain range. His father was a man who lived for baseball, a steel worker with a ready wink, who once scaled a fifty-foot tree just to hang a tire swing for his son. He was also the stranger who tried to kidnap and kill Sean's mother before pulling the trigger on himself. He was a childhood hero, now reduced to a man in a box. Will the Circle Be Unbroken? is the story of what happens after the unthinkable, and the journey we all must make in finding the courage to stop the cycles of the past from laying claim to our future. Sean was a seventh-grade drop-out, a dishwasher then a construction worker to help his mother and sister scrape by, and a self-described "nobody with a sad story behind him." Yet he cannot deny the glimmers of life's goodness even amid its rough edges. Such goodness becomes even harder to deny when Sean meets the love of his life at a fried chicken church potluck, and harder still when his lifelong love of storytelling leads him to stages across the southeast, where he is known and loved as "Sean of the South." A story that will stay with you long after the final page, Will the Circle Be Unbroken? testifies to the strength that lives within us all to make our peace with the past and look to the future with renewed hope and wonder.

30 review for Will the Circle Be Unbroken?: A Memoir of Learning to Believe You’re Gonna Be Okay

  1. 4 out of 5

    Beth Ann

    Have you ever waited for a book to be published for so long that you just want the whole experience to last a little bit longer? That is the case with Will the Circle Be Unbroken by Sean Dietrich. As one of his number one fans for years I have longed for this memoir to be published and finally --here it is. A real copy of it in my hands. I waited to start it because I wanted to read it in one sitting and today was that day. What a glorious day it was! Meet Sean Dietrich. AKA Sean of the South. Au Have you ever waited for a book to be published for so long that you just want the whole experience to last a little bit longer? That is the case with Will the Circle Be Unbroken by Sean Dietrich. As one of his number one fans for years I have longed for this memoir to be published and finally --here it is. A real copy of it in my hands. I waited to start it because I wanted to read it in one sitting and today was that day. What a glorious day it was! Meet Sean Dietrich. AKA Sean of the South. Author, musician and all around great guy. Seriously. I knew from reading his blog and daily posts for years that his entire story had not been shared with us yet and true to form the words he penned in Will the Circle Be Unbroken are words that will stick with me for a long time. Sean reveals in his memoir many more details of his life than I had read before and this book made me laugh, cry, get angry and sentimental with every page turn. As a master story teller I believe the story of Sean's life is the best story he has told. Brutally honest and revealing Sean chronicles more than just the tragic suicide of his father in the pages and leaves the reader with such a sense of being a part of his life that I felt like family. A family that hugs necks, that shares tomato sandwiches with Duke's Mayonnaise and that loves all things bloodhound. This is a family that I can belong to and one that supports one another. Sean's story is a story of struggles and triumphs, disappointments and hardships that give way to success and fulfillment. The book is filled with quotable quotes and life lessons all wrapped up in glorious words. To say that reading this book was a joy is an understatement. I truly felt inspired and motivated as I read the encouraging story of Sean's life. Perhaps the best part of this story is seeing the transformation of a man who doubted his worth as a man to become an encourager in his very own right. With the support of a loving wife, Jamie, Sean has bridged the gap to become the voice of the overlooked. Giving others a voice and sharing their stories with others is such a gift that he is giving our world in a time when good stories really do need to be shared. Ignoring the advice of an executive at a large newspaper in Georgia Sean continued to write about the good things in life, the ordinary things turned extraordinary, the simple things. I, for one, am very grateful that he chose to ignore that woman's advice. The world is a better place because of Sean Dietrich. Keep on writing, Sean of the South. Your audience awaits.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is southern storytelling at its finest. Sad, beautiful, funny, true.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn Green

    You guys. I listen to A LOT of audiobooks. Most of them I listen to at 1.25 speed to keep things moving along, you know? But you couldn't pay me to speed through anything written and narrated by Sean of the South/ Sean Dietrich. His voice and pace are perfect and NOT to be messed with. ⁠ ⁠ I adore this memoir. Parts of it make me laugh out loud so hard, and other parts scrape sobs from the bottom of my gut, which I valiantly restrain while wiping down the kitchen counters after dinner so as not to You guys. I listen to A LOT of audiobooks. Most of them I listen to at 1.25 speed to keep things moving along, you know? But you couldn't pay me to speed through anything written and narrated by Sean of the South/ Sean Dietrich. His voice and pace are perfect and NOT to be messed with. ⁠ ⁠ I adore this memoir. Parts of it make me laugh out loud so hard, and other parts scrape sobs from the bottom of my gut, which I valiantly restrain while wiping down the kitchen counters after dinner so as not to scare my family. ⁠ ⁠ If you enjoy memoirs, please read (or preferably listen to) this. If you enjoy novels, please listen to this because Sean excels at storytelling so much. And also don't miss his novel, Stars of Alabama.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    This book will make you cry, laugh, be sad, become encouraged, get angry, and feel at home with the little boy who withstood a great tragedy with great courage. Sean may have been a seventh grade dropout, but his ability to take you into his journey is just amazing. It seemed as if every page offered a different emotion. I found humor with the Baptist church fried chicken, anger at his father's abuse, and fear for the trauma Sean suffered that led to his fear and nightmares. There is hope from t This book will make you cry, laugh, be sad, become encouraged, get angry, and feel at home with the little boy who withstood a great tragedy with great courage. Sean may have been a seventh grade dropout, but his ability to take you into his journey is just amazing. It seemed as if every page offered a different emotion. I found humor with the Baptist church fried chicken, anger at his father's abuse, and fear for the trauma Sean suffered that led to his fear and nightmares. There is hope from the message of the blind man, and encouragement with his mother's determination to do whatever it would take to raise her two children. If you love a great book that is totally open, honest, and an overall message that everything's gonna be okay, you have a winner here. This one will truly make you think and then you will realize that yes, life can be difficult, but everything will be okay.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Smucker

    A superbly written memoir, something like Lake Wobegon with a southern warmth. Very well done.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Adams Books

    Simply loved this book. Because, as Dolly Parton once shared in Steel Magnolias, “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” When grief and hardness cross your path early in life – time doesn’t heal all wounds. When you’re young, time only serves to make those wounds sharper. The title of this book could not be more poignant, because for a long time, just as the song goes – the best you can do is simply ‘try to hold up and be brave’ as Sean shares in reflecting the deep loss of a parent. Even Simply loved this book. Because, as Dolly Parton once shared in Steel Magnolias, “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” When grief and hardness cross your path early in life – time doesn’t heal all wounds. When you’re young, time only serves to make those wounds sharper. The title of this book could not be more poignant, because for a long time, just as the song goes – the best you can do is simply ‘try to hold up and be brave’ as Sean shares in reflecting the deep loss of a parent. Eventually – you don’t hold up so well anymore, and you end up getting in your own way. But if you’re lucky – you find a book like this one that helps you “remember parts of your life that you had forgotten.” The memories that imprinted when your heart wasn’t looking. There are so many striking and heartfelt passages in this book – but one that has lingered with me each morning is, “Something hard within me began to thaw.” My own mother passed away suddenly in a ‘one-in-a-million’ workplace accident when I was 7 years old, and I’ve spent a good deal of my life in late mourning. I spent many wretched days in swampy southeast Texas wondering how on earth my life had gone sideways so early. And promptly moved away as fast as I could. Sean’s stories – and this book in particular, reminded me that hope and laughter is always waiting for you on the shoreline. These rich, heartfelt stories gently eased me back home. Trust me – pick up 2 copies, because this is one book you will definitely want to share with a beloved family member or friend!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sasha

    The timing of this book is providential. It's the kind of need that so many people need right now. The reminder that loss is hurtful and confusing and a very long journey, but that we can and do come out the other side when we do the work. Personally, Dietrich's story resonates for personal reasons. Suicide has touched my life and I've seen those even closer to it than I struggle through the healing. But I've had to heal too, and I've had to heal around and despite their struggles. This book is The timing of this book is providential. It's the kind of need that so many people need right now. The reminder that loss is hurtful and confusing and a very long journey, but that we can and do come out the other side when we do the work. Personally, Dietrich's story resonates for personal reasons. Suicide has touched my life and I've seen those even closer to it than I struggle through the healing. But I've had to heal too, and I've had to heal around and despite their struggles. This book is an inspiration and a reminder that there is still good in the world even when it doesn't feel like it sometimes.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Deanna Bailey

    I read and listened to the Audiobook and man what a story this is. Sean Dietrich can tell a story, and this was an amazing story about overcoming circumstances and never quitting in life. This book will break your heart, make you laugh, and be hopeful about tomorrow. I don't know what's getting into me lately with Nonfiction and Bios- something I never read- but I've been getting into it A LOT lately.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Carlin

    I haven’t the foggiest idea what persuaded me to pick up a memoir of some white southern dude I’ve never heard of, but damn if I’m not glad I did. I don’t give that fifth star out often, but this is easily one of my favorite memoirs I’ve ever read, and it’s every bit deserving. Half way through listening to the audiobook (which I highly recommend listening to, despite the next half of my sentence), I found myself ordering a hard copy of this book because there were so many quotes, jokes and thou I haven’t the foggiest idea what persuaded me to pick up a memoir of some white southern dude I’ve never heard of, but damn if I’m not glad I did. I don’t give that fifth star out often, but this is easily one of my favorite memoirs I’ve ever read, and it’s every bit deserving. Half way through listening to the audiobook (which I highly recommend listening to, despite the next half of my sentence), I found myself ordering a hard copy of this book because there were so many quotes, jokes and thoughts I wanted to be able to go back over again, and some things are just different in print. And, even if I never reread this book (which I undoubtedly will), this thing just deserves a spot on my bookshelf. It also made me stop in my tracks and listen to Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on repeat. This thing just fed my soul- there’s no other way of putting it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I was so excited to receive a finished copy of “Will the Circle be Unbroken,” and Sean Dietrich did not disappoint! This memoir was funny, heartbreaking, and uplifting. Sean of the South is so honest about his trials in life and didn’t try to gloss over the hard trials or feelings at all. His resilience and journey through grief is amazing and his positivity shone throughout the memoir. This was such an encouraging read and I loved the imagery created. A big thank you to Goodreads and Zondervan I was so excited to receive a finished copy of “Will the Circle be Unbroken,” and Sean Dietrich did not disappoint! This memoir was funny, heartbreaking, and uplifting. Sean of the South is so honest about his trials in life and didn’t try to gloss over the hard trials or feelings at all. His resilience and journey through grief is amazing and his positivity shone throughout the memoir. This was such an encouraging read and I loved the imagery created. A big thank you to Goodreads and Zondervan for the finished copy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Brantly

    I bet if I'd listened to it instead of reading - it would have been 5 stars.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Taunton

    I listened to this read aloud by the author. I'm convinced that's the best way to enjoy this book, but it would have been a wonderful read either way.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Freddie

    I received an advance copy of this book. How do I describe this book in any way other then a memoir about a man with a sad past, but is able to see the positive in life, no matter what life throws at him? That’s pretty much the basis of this entire book, and each and every chapter is very eye opening. I’ll leave you with this beautiful paragraph that pretty much sums up the entirety of the book: “I’ll be honest with you. The variables that construct my existence are confusing, like handwritten math I received an advance copy of this book. How do I describe this book in any way other then a memoir about a man with a sad past, but is able to see the positive in life, no matter what life throws at him? That’s pretty much the basis of this entire book, and each and every chapter is very eye opening. I’ll leave you with this beautiful paragraph that pretty much sums up the entirety of the book: “I’ll be honest with you. The variables that construct my existence are confusing, like handwritten math equations jammed together on a sloppy page of homework. They don’t make sense. One math problem leads to another. Then another. And so it goes. One day you realize that your life is a whole page of problems, and nothing ever gets solved—one ongoing equation with no equal sign at the end. But it occurred to me, beneath the canopy of a starlit heaven, that I’d been looking at my life all wrong. It wasn’t a math equation. Things weren’t supposed to add up. There was no solution. In fact, there was no problem. Life’s variables and numbers and pages of chicken scratch weren’t mathematical marks. They were art. A drawing, an abstract painting. It was meant to be beautiful, not sensical. And embedded within the mess of it all were miracles. Small ones. I had never paid attention to them because I was too busy, but it didn’t make them less real.”

  14. 5 out of 5

    Juanita

    Beautiful. ❤️ Thanks to @seanofthesouth for providing me this ARC. Sean Dietrich’s “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” is a beautiful, touching memoir! I loved the honest and down-to-earth writing style throughout. This book made me cry and laugh. It’s a wonderful reflection of how we should approach our own trying times. Since I first began reading Sean’s columns earlier this year and after finally meeting him and seeing him perform as a storyteller, I have wondered about his beginnings. This book beg Beautiful. ❤️ Thanks to @seanofthesouth for providing me this ARC. Sean Dietrich’s “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” is a beautiful, touching memoir! I loved the honest and down-to-earth writing style throughout. This book made me cry and laugh. It’s a wonderful reflection of how we should approach our own trying times. Since I first began reading Sean’s columns earlier this year and after finally meeting him and seeing him perform as a storyteller, I have wondered about his beginnings. This book begins when his father changed his family’s life forever at the end of a gun and carries us through a journey of discovery. The mantra, “Even after tragedy and low spots in life, it’s all gonna be alright,” rings true and is sage advice. When this book comes out in March 2020, it will be on the top of my recommendation list! 5 stars!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kathyrn Goecke

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. **Warning: this text may contain spoilers** Surviving the suicide of his father, Sean Dietrich's memoir is the story of a young boy's hearbreak, anger and humiliation with Sean's style of sharp wit and humor peppered throughout the book. With the deep and purposeful love of his mother, Sean's story resonates with anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide. The strength required to move on and the resolve to put it in the past to move forward is compelling. This book is about love, forgiveness, r **Warning: this text may contain spoilers** Surviving the suicide of his father, Sean Dietrich's memoir is the story of a young boy's hearbreak, anger and humiliation with Sean's style of sharp wit and humor peppered throughout the book. With the deep and purposeful love of his mother, Sean's story resonates with anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide. The strength required to move on and the resolve to put it in the past to move forward is compelling. This book is about love, forgiveness, redemption and learning "that it is going to be okay". Kudos to Sean Dietrich, known as Sean of the South, for his unique ability for his storytelling!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Savannah Summers

    SO very good. Sweet, sad, Southern, and enchanting.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Brackett

    I wanted to like Sean Dietrich’s memoir, Will the Circle Be Unbroken?, as it seemed a positive read, and – a shocking reveal - I actually enjoy memoirs (#CompanyofPatriots)! I found the avalanche of humor a bit much - Dietrich's forcing of stereotypes and platitudes on the reader in every paragraph became tedious. A folksy, self-deprecating voice can provide an excellent narrative frame, but, in this case, I felt like the character from Alice in Wonderland who said, “It’s much too much and far t I wanted to like Sean Dietrich’s memoir, Will the Circle Be Unbroken?, as it seemed a positive read, and – a shocking reveal - I actually enjoy memoirs (#CompanyofPatriots)! I found the avalanche of humor a bit much - Dietrich's forcing of stereotypes and platitudes on the reader in every paragraph became tedious. A folksy, self-deprecating voice can provide an excellent narrative frame, but, in this case, I felt like the character from Alice in Wonderland who said, “It’s much too much and far too very very.” I did feel much compassion toward Dietrich for his tragic early loss and for the way it changed his life, although I thought his negotiation with that loss went on too long on the page. Understanding that those observations were based firmly in my own opinion and wouldn’t necessarily be shared by others, I was ready to recommend the memoir until I hit the chapter "World Series." One must be able to trust a narrator, and Dietrich became untrustworthy when he placed the Kansas City Royals baseball team in Kansas, labeling them a Kansas team. I'm assuming he did so in order to stress his hatred for Kansas where he lived with as a young child, as it always reminded him of a family tragedy. Thus, he wrote that he couldn't root for Kansas, etc. However, the Royals are located in Missouri, in fact, east of Kansas City, MO, where I live. The fact that the early tragedy took place in Parkville, MO, which is only 18 miles from Kauffman Stadium where the Royals play, suggests Dietrich must have had an acute knowledge of the area. So, I have to assume that he misrepresented his geography in order to better make his point. That decision was unnecessary, in my opinion, as he clearly made his feelings known in other ways. Although perhaps not everyone would recognize this error, many will.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Connie Marston

    I don’t often give 5 🌟 but this one touched my soul so very much. Sean writes this one as though you’re both just sitting around on the front porch having a conversation with one another. His story had me laughing so hard at times and others crying or thinking wow, I’m not the only one either who’s had a hard life. There’s one part about a blind gentleman smelling of Old Spice that tells him, “You’re going to be alright!“ It got me to thinking in the end was he real? Was he just sent to check up I don’t often give 5 🌟 but this one touched my soul so very much. Sean writes this one as though you’re both just sitting around on the front porch having a conversation with one another. His story had me laughing so hard at times and others crying or thinking wow, I’m not the only one either who’s had a hard life. There’s one part about a blind gentleman smelling of Old Spice that tells him, “You’re going to be alright!“ It got me to thinking in the end was he real? Was he just sent to check up on you? There’s a blue heron that visits him as well. This is a book that will make you feel good, help you to really believe you’re going to be ok. Jamie his wife, is truly his best friend and when you read some of the things he writes about her you’ll be laughing so hard, but also going yeah Jamie! We get to hear the Ellie Mae stories which are so heartwarming. This is a book I hope you guys add to your tbr shelf as you won’t be disappointed at all! Update; My review didn’t really even touch on the way this memoir can make you look at some things in your own life and know, you can be alright. Sean climbed a mountain as a young boy and later in life decided it was time once and for all to climb that mountain again and finally get to know the man he called Dad after so many years. It’s a ride you need to take with him. You really will feel like he’s sitting on a porch telling you his story and you won’t want it to end. 💛

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    "Will The Circle Be Unbroken by Sean Dietrich is a captivating tale of a boy’s journey from a traumatic childhood to a man at peace with a family and a gift for storytelling. Sean’s style is as easy and inviting as a southern summer morning. You will be drawn into the narrative like a friend along for the ride. His description of southern landscape is pure poetry and the antics of quirky characters will have you smiling in recognition. With affectionate humor Sean introduces you to the foibles o "Will The Circle Be Unbroken by Sean Dietrich is a captivating tale of a boy’s journey from a traumatic childhood to a man at peace with a family and a gift for storytelling. Sean’s style is as easy and inviting as a southern summer morning. You will be drawn into the narrative like a friend along for the ride. His description of southern landscape is pure poetry and the antics of quirky characters will have you smiling in recognition. With affectionate humor Sean introduces you to the foibles of small town customs. The story is compelling. Sometimes you will laugh out loud at Sean’s description of his efforts to complete college and find himself through his music. It is here that meeting his adored wife gives him purpose and resolve. Sometimes a tear will fall, for the loss of his beloved bloodhound, Ellie Mae and for the little boy so affected by his father’s suicide he can’t bear to think about his past. It is through his cathartic journey back to Kansas and Colorado, coming to terms with the past that we discover that small towns have the same rhythms and “we are all united by suffering as well as laughter. In the end it will be alright”. "

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    If you're already familiar with Sean Dietrich through his Sean of the South blog or podcast, then you already know that he regularly points to two huge turning points in his life: his father's suicide and when he met Jamie, his now wife of 20-ish years. This book focuses on the full circle of grief, loving and hating his father in equal measure, the anger and bitterness that came from the loss, and the decades of issues it has taken him to get to a place where he truly believes "everything will If you're already familiar with Sean Dietrich through his Sean of the South blog or podcast, then you already know that he regularly points to two huge turning points in his life: his father's suicide and when he met Jamie, his now wife of 20-ish years. This book focuses on the full circle of grief, loving and hating his father in equal measure, the anger and bitterness that came from the loss, and the decades of issues it has taken him to get to a place where he truly believes "everything will be all right." I love how Deitrich's writing evokes the full range of emotion, sometimes even in the same sentence. He's been likened by critics to a "southern Garrison Keillor" which I feel is accurate after reading this longer work. However, I have to admit the 4 star rating comes primarily from my investment in the story/people and the emotional impact. The writing is solid, but there are some serious timeline issues - at least an unclear timeline and some events that seem to overlap or contradict each other - that the simple use of dates or at least Sean's age at the time would have easily fixed.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bagman

    Many of the four and five star ratings must be from fans of the author's podcast because I found nothing to support those these kinds of numbers. In fact, while the first half of the book was admittedly decent, with a few laugh-out-loud and 'Aha moments', the second half became redundant and predictable. Nope, now that I think about it, the second half of the book actually became annoying with the protagonist's constant whining and contemplation. Chapter after chapter it was the same thing, "I h Many of the four and five star ratings must be from fans of the author's podcast because I found nothing to support those these kinds of numbers. In fact, while the first half of the book was admittedly decent, with a few laugh-out-loud and 'Aha moments', the second half became redundant and predictable. Nope, now that I think about it, the second half of the book actually became annoying with the protagonist's constant whining and contemplation. Chapter after chapter it was the same thing, "I hate my father", "I love my father", "I wish he wasn't dead", "I'm glad he's dead", "He never treated me bad", "He was mean to me", "He was a great father", "He was an awful father". Since I never had to deal with a family member suicide, I guess the nuance was lost on me. But, providing the reader with the same contradictory message, for me at least, ceased to be entertaining. Three stars because I enjoyed the first half of the book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    I don't give many "five stars!' After having been introduced to "Sean of the South," a daily blog by Sean Dietrich, I have become a die-hard fan of his writings. This book goes farther into his background and gives you a glimpse as to how this man came to be what he is. He is transparent and authentically honest about the challenges in his life. There were times I wanted to laugh, to cry, or to simply give this man a hug! I highly recommend this book. It is not always easy reading, and you may f I don't give many "five stars!' After having been introduced to "Sean of the South," a daily blog by Sean Dietrich, I have become a die-hard fan of his writings. This book goes farther into his background and gives you a glimpse as to how this man came to be what he is. He is transparent and authentically honest about the challenges in his life. There were times I wanted to laugh, to cry, or to simply give this man a hug! I highly recommend this book. It is not always easy reading, and you may feel emotional but afterward, you will become a fan of his blogs, too!

  23. 4 out of 5

    J.J.

    ARC from the publisher for an honest review: This is a Southern man's story of dealing with trauma and the relationship with his own Father. Part times humor and part times grief. As someone from the South, I related instantly to a lot of his perspectives on life. And as someone wrestling with her own family history, the feeling he verbalized resonated. However, I wonder if it's too stereotypical in parts, which is why the 4 instead of higher. I think the author reading the audiobook was an added ARC from the publisher for an honest review: This is a Southern man's story of dealing with trauma and the relationship with his own Father. Part times humor and part times grief. As someone from the South, I related instantly to a lot of his perspectives on life. And as someone wrestling with her own family history, the feeling he verbalized resonated. However, I wonder if it's too stereotypical in parts, which is why the 4 instead of higher. I think the author reading the audiobook was an added bonus, if you use that version. Overall fans of Hill Women, Educated, and Hillbilly Elegy will enjoy this addition. Fav quote: "You can't be yourself while trying to forget at the same time."

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Panarello

    This is a fantastic Southern memoir that I highly recommend. It’s inspiring, funny and full of stories of the South.💗 Thanks @betsythebookwhisperer for the recommendation! I LOVED it and will definitely read more of his books. He is a fantastic writer. “For the first time I was retelling the stories of my dismal life with a lighthearted voice. And it was becoming clear to me that I could mine for precious metals in the coal mines of my past. And this is how storytelling saved me.” “I expected the This is a fantastic Southern memoir that I highly recommend. It’s inspiring, funny and full of stories of the South.💗 Thanks @betsythebookwhisperer for the recommendation! I LOVED it and will definitely read more of his books. He is a fantastic writer. “For the first time I was retelling the stories of my dismal life with a lighthearted voice. And it was becoming clear to me that I could mine for precious metals in the coal mines of my past. And this is how storytelling saved me.” “I expected the mountain to bring me to him. But it hadn’t. This mountain had brought me to myself.”

  25. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This is an honest, raw look into the heart of a man that has overcome life's unimaginable challenges. I cried, laughed and cheered Sean on with every page. This is a beautiful reminder that we are all more than what we appear and we never honestly know what a person has endured in their lifetime. I completely understand now why fans of this author want to hug him when they see him: he doesn't put words on paper: he puts pure heart so that we feel like we have been with him for each event he writ This is an honest, raw look into the heart of a man that has overcome life's unimaginable challenges. I cried, laughed and cheered Sean on with every page. This is a beautiful reminder that we are all more than what we appear and we never honestly know what a person has endured in their lifetime. I completely understand now why fans of this author want to hug him when they see him: he doesn't put words on paper: he puts pure heart so that we feel like we have been with him for each event he writes about. I read a LOT and this is my favorite book of the year!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lisa P Clement

    Such an real life story of pain and hope and then finding healing. Thanks to the author for writing this story and sharing it with the world. We all have something that has knocked the breath out of us but can we get back up and keep going. The author shares how he did that after tragedy in his life. I am thankful to have been able to read this story. I received an advanced copy of this book and this is my opinion.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Susie James

    A real treasure, Sean of the South -- I stumbled across his memoir and his wonderful novel, "Stars of Alabama", during the same trip to Greenwood, Mississippi's "Turn Row" bookstore last week. I read the memoir first, then the novel. A sweet, sometimes harsh look at hard lives in Dietrich's mostly rural world, which shows how well he understands the spirit and experiences of his people I really love both books.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    To be honest I'd never heard of Sean Dietrich aka Sean of the South before I won this book on Goodreads. Now I've discovered his website/blog and I may disappear into it:) https://seandietrich.com/ I was captivated from the first chapter and his story of pain, hope and finding healing resonated within me somewhere. I love his honesty. To be honest I'd never heard of Sean Dietrich aka Sean of the South before I won this book on Goodreads. Now I've discovered his website/blog and I may disappear into it:) https://seandietrich.com/ I was captivated from the first chapter and his story of pain, hope and finding healing resonated within me somewhere. I love his honesty.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jaime

    A very moving memoir of the life of Sean Dietrich. Very well written. Like any good story this one was a page turner and was told as if you were sitting on a porch having a story told to you by your favorite grandpa. There were a lot of times I was smiling while reading this and a lot of times I cried while reading this. Definitely worth the read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Judy Hardwick

    Sean, Sean of the South tells the most poetic story in this book about his relationship with his father... but it's so, so much more than that... it's a story of strength and forgiveness, and courage. And love, most of all, love. Hidden deep in his soul where he was finally able to find it. Bravo!!

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