Reviewed by me for Reader’s Favorite.
Going to Wings – A Memoir by Sandra Worsham is a mirror to those parts of the society that are whispered about but never challenged. The religion that forces you to follow a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about sensitive issues is one of those parts. Sandra became aware of our sexuality when she was in her twenties and, unfortunately, after being married to a man, Harvill. She discovered her inclination towards women but could not gather enough courage to share this knowledge with her friends and family. The fear of being thrown out of her circle and considered an outcast were the main factors behind this secrecy. However, when she had to reveal her secret, it was not well received by her mother. To keep her mother content, she decided to suppress that part of her and convince herself that she was mistaken about her sexual preference. Thus, she lived a life that would please her mother, friends, and religious people.
In Going to Wings, Sandra has presented an unfiltered version of her life which she lived according to others. The truth is so bitter that the intolerant part of the society must read it to understand the pain and suffering that their intolerance imparts on the gay community. This memoir is about accepting yourself above everything and everyone else. Sandra Worsham lived life both the ways: many years by keeping her identity hidden and then the later parts of her life (ongoing) by accepting and revealing her identity. She tried to change herself, both in appearance and behavior, to suit others until she found her real self. A person expects acceptance from their family more than anyone else, but when they do not get the support even from the family, how could they be expected to share their truth with any outsider. This is what happened to Ms. Worsham. She struggled to embrace herself, let alone talk to any friend about it.
This memoir is filled with many incredible and heartfelt memories. The author did not focus on only one aspect of her life in this book. She created a perfect collage of her memories and shared with the readers. The honesty with which Sandra Worsham has bared her soul is exquisite. She did not present herself as a saint. And by highlighting her flaws and mistakes, she managed to create a true image of a human being and not an imaginary character. The book is filled with the stories of friendships, character building moments, motherhood, relationships, religion, acceptance, rejection, determination, loss, fear, and love. The only issue that bothered me only slightly has been, at times, the slow pace of the book.
If you are a reader who enjoys learning from other people’s lives and reading about their struggles, then this book is a treasure for you.