Book Review – Benchmarks: A Single Mother’s Illustrated Journal

Benchmarks: A Single Mother’s Illustrated Journal
Bodie Parkhurst
E-book and Paperback  2011

 This is a touching memoir of a single mother’s journey with her son, Alex, from the time he first enters her life until he is ready to start a life of his own. All mothers will relate to the connectedness she has with her son through all those special, and not so special, moments that touched this journey, and single mothers especially will cheer for those times the many challenges were met and conquered.

Bodie acknowledges that her experience was not the same as many single mothers. She had a job that allowed her to work at home and still provide financially. She also had the support of family and friends. Things that not all single mothers can count on; but weight of the sole responsibility is the same. It is hard to parent when you are the only adult in the house day after day.

In the midst of all the work involved in raising a child, Bodie also recognized that “the shining moments that remind us that single or not, we love being mothers” are worth sharing.  She hopes that “reading about my moments will shine a light on the moments in your own life when the simple experience of looking at your child and recognizing the gift of joy that each child holds in his or her hands is enough.”

The memoir is beautifully written with language as picturesque as the many illustrations. Bodie has certainly blended her artistic creativity well.  It is also frank and honest in her struggle with depression and the spiritual desert she finds herself in at times.

I smiled, I laughed, and I cried and I cheered as I read this book.

This little jewel deserves more attention. It’s like those indie movies that don’t get the push they deserve and are missed by too many people. I highly recommend this book.

Bodie Parkhurst has been writing and illustrating stories since third grade. She has worked as a reader, a tutor, a ranch hand, a mechanic, a truck driver, a dairy maid, a writer, an editor, a fine artist, an illustrator, and a designer.

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