Imagine what your life would be like if you laughed through all the mayhem? Biracial and bicoastal, Berlinski spent her childhood flying between the dysfunctional families of her divorced parents, always feeling like an outsider. Fortunately, she never lost her sense of humor, which is apparent on every page of her debut essay collection, a riotous and revealing exposé of the new normal and the consequences of too much air travel, cultural diversity, and conflicting and conflicted parents. With an open heart, she recounts her somewhat misspent youth and a wildly exciting (though equally torturous) love affair with the guy of her dreams, eventually leaving it all to start again abroad. She’s Carrie Bradshaw reimagined as a third grade teacher in Brooklyn with zero interest in Manolo Blahnik. She’s a tough New Yorker with a tender twist of California sunshine whose journey will be oddly familiar and utterly unique to anyone who’s ever believed that love would save them – if not with this guy, then maybe with the next. As her grandfather once said, “Well, it may not be the party you hoped for, but since we’re here, we might as well dance.” So now she lives in Spain and, despite everything, continues to dance through this messy, magnificent life. Say yes to your mess.
A Beautiful Mess by Ali Berlinski chronicles the author’s life from childhood to adulthood dealing with her feelings on being biracial (Filipino and Polish). She is not just biracial but she also has half siblings who are also biracial (Filipina and Puerto Rican) and two half siblings who are Caucasian. And to top it off she finds herself being the oldest, the middle child and the youngest because of her family’s unusual circumstances. Her family is truly unique as is her life.
This story moves the reader. It lets you into the Ms. Berlinski’s life and gives you a deep understanding of her conflicts and feelings about the different circumstances in her life. Ms. Berlinki’s is able to get the reader to feel as if they are a part of her family and that they know her personally. It is a truly wonderful story.
The book drew me into Ms. Berlinksi’s life and kept me interested from beginning until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed A Beautiful Mess. Ms. Berlinski did a wonderful job. I hope to see more from her in the future. I give A Beautiful Mess 4 out of 5 stars and would highly recommend it to anyone.
About the Author
Ali Berlinski was born in New Jersey but considers herself bicoastal as half her childhood was spent in Northern California after her parent’s divorce. She attended NYU, majored in Sociology, graduated cum laude and earned a dual masters in Education from CUNY Brooklyn College. She then joined the NYC Teaching Fellows program and taught special education in Brooklyn, New York. Currently, Ali Berlinski lives in Northern Spain where she continues to teach and write. This is her first novel.