No Rehearsal: A Memoir

No Rehearsal: A Memoir

by Brenda Bartella Peterson


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No Rehearsal: A Memoir by Brenda Bartella Peterson

When I became an adult at age five, I accepted my role in the drama called No Rehearsal: A Memoir — the person in charge. Would that timid but bossy little girl, lips chapped red up to her nose, mouth covered in fever blisters, recognize the sassy, confident minister, professional speaker and writer I have become? I couldn't have predicted the roles chosen or thrust upon me throughout this drama—nerd, missionary, glamour girl, wife five times, mother twice—or how the four acts would play out with more than my share of tragedy but with threads of comedy and joy.

This memoir takes readers through my fourteen elementary schools, twenty-six houses, three states, and inept, quirky parents. My father married nine times. My mother married four. They married each other three times. The characters in this drama are real—imperfect, complex, sad and funny. Raising my siblings and making my own decisions was background research for the extraordinary demands of parenting, widowhood, the loss of one son and my older son's attempt to take his own life. With tenacity, friendships and accountability as my guides, I struggled to figure out what matters, who matters and whether I matter.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780990345008
Publisher: Global Memory Press
Publication date: 06/01/2014
Pages: 298
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Prologue Before the Play Starts xi

Act 1

Scene 1 Memorializing My Raggedy Ass-Father 3

Scene 2 The Gypsy Years 7

Scene 3 Grace Gumption 29

Scene 4 Namesake Blueprint 35

Scene 5 A Child in Charge 39

Scene 6 Blossoming in the Desert 53

Scene 7 Separation Begins 69

Act 2

Scene 1 Writing My Own Script 87

scene 2 This Must be Love 89

Scene 3 Now I Get It 97

Scene 4 New Family 111

Scene 5 Mother 115

Scene 6 My First Love 119

Scene 7 Bart's Give of Love 135

Scene 8 Still Trying 143

Scene 9 Shoulda Been Just a Friend 153

Act 3

Scene 1 Defining My Faith 163

Scene 2 Building My Karass 169

Scene 3 My Own Brute Strength 193

Scene 4 Eight Days Can Change You Forever 201

Scene 5 Grief, I Thought I Knew you 209

Scene 6 Life after Life 221

Scene 7 My Past is Never Past 229

Scene 8 I Can Never Stop Being a Mother 231

Scene 9 Resurrection and Redemption 237

Act 4

Scene 1 The Joy of a Fourth Act 249


Portraiture Faces 261


Books That Have Formed Me 267

Discussion Guide for Reading Groups 269

Another Form of Resurrection 271

List of Illustrations 273

Author's Note & Acknowledgments 277

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