I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Friday, April 10, 2009

THE MAKING OF A MADAM - A MEMOIR by Patsyann Maloney with Wayne Holmes

Genre: Memoir
Rating: Good
ISBN: 9781439218464, $19.00, 280 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"Sexually molested–the first time–at age six, received money for the use of her body at age eight, married five times, pregnant eight times in seven years, arrested for prostitution at thirty-eight, and jailed by the FBI for running a brothel at age forty.

"The story of Patsyann Maloney’s life as a madam began in her childhood and ends triumphantly after serving time at the Federal Correctional Institute in Lexington, Kentucky. This victim-to-victor tale takes the reader through fascinating twists and turns while divulging insider information into the lives of prostitutes–and the madam who cared for them.

"Despite all the evil forces that worked against Patsyann Maloney, she triumphed. Her story gives hope to the most desolate and destitute."

The Making of a Madam is more precisely a story about poverty, a dominant/abusive father, ignorance, hormones, and Patsyann’s search for love and someone to take care of her. As fate would have it, she had multiple pregnancies by different partners until she finally had her tubes tied. Her mother had twelve children by an abusive husband and finally left him and lost her children.

As far as "divulging insider information into the lives of prostitutes," don’t get your hopes too high–pretty standard stuff–remember Burt and Dolly in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas? As for style and tone, I would have preferred less descriptive emoting (sighs and giggles), less cute metaphors, and more details, such as who actually paid for all Patsyann’s births, adoption processing, child support/medical care, and rehab in federal prison...American tax payers and government agency programs? She doesn’t say.

I found this memoir somewhat disturbing but not for the obvious, promoted reasons: "Sexually molested–the first time–at age six, received money for the use of her body at age eight...." Indeed, Patsyann’s life was extremely hard and problematic; yes, she sounds like a very loving, caring mother; and yes, she survived, changed, and gives "hope to the most desolate and destitute."

What did I find disturbing? I thought the memoir to be a little less than honest, sugar-coated you might say. It disturbed me that she never wanted to tell her sister Maggie about her sexual problem with Maggie’s husband and then in this memoir...tells the world. Finally, judging by the title, The Making of a Madam, the cover design and promotional hype, Patsyann is still trying to sell sex.

Other than these disturbing factors, the memoir is informative, well edited, inspirational and in closing, but for the grace of God...

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - April 10, 2009