In Maya Angelou’s new memoir, Mom & Me & Mom, by contrast, the happy ending begins almost at once. Admirers of Angelou’s now-classic memoir “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” will delight in this sequel, which explains and (somewhat) excuses her mother’s absence from her children’s lives for many of their growing-up years.
Angelou returns to her own story when, at the age of 13, she is sent from her grandmother’s home in Arkansas to California to reunite with “Lady” (the name she gives to the lively little woman she can’t quite bring herself to call “Mother”). Their beginning is rocky, but it soon becomes clear that this is a story of redemption.
Angelou gradually finds much to admire and eventually to cherish about her mother. The two ultimately bond to the point that today Angelou “can hardly distinguish where she stops and I begin,” making her memoir both a tender read and a lovely tribute to the special gifts that only a mother can bring.