Fun but tarnished
This memoir could have been a mostly-fun nostalgia trip for Baby Boomers and fans of mid-century history. . . think A Christmas Story, fast-forwarded a bit, and for all seasons. I actually really enjoyed the heavy use of original music! It was very cute, and elevated the podcast above a simple recounting of everyday memories. I also found it cool that the voice of the children’s mother was used, and she was able to give her honest perspective on a lot of the events. She wasn’t over-used to the point of bogging down the story, but it seemed like the very best parts of her commentary were pulled and highlighted. Jessica’s voice was very pleasant to listen to as well; while she has family recordings, she does narrate a lot of the story herself, and she does so with good humor and very tranquil but engaging delivery.Unfortunately, these positives were ultimately overshadowed for me by the BIG FAMILY SECRET teased in every episode. Listeners should know that the secret doesn’t appear until the final installment, and the content of the secret does not, to my mind, drive a 10-episode podcast with eight bonus segments. This commodification of the information discovered felt tacky to me and left a bad taste in my mouth. I felt that she made this “about them,” when it was really about the devastation of others, and the privilege of the entire family radiates glaringly against this backdrop in a way that the author seems unaware of. Additionally, because of the information surrounding the secret, listeners know that it can only possibly be so many things. . . most conclusions you will come to as possibilities will make the actual secret look even worse. Very fun to listen to overall, but sadly marred by the exact mystery overused as a plot device.
Reviewed on Apple Podcasts