March 3, 2020
Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Unions, Steel
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Thanks #netgalley #flatironbooks for a free E ARC of #rustamemoirofsteelandgrit in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Eliese shatters the stereotype…….Have you ever thought of a steelworker as a college-educated, twenty-something female?
For Eliese, the “stinky” local steel mill in Cleveland, Ohio represents everything from which she is trying to escape. Although it was never her dream job, practicality demands that she needs job security and a good salary. In Rust, Eliese shares about her childhood, her Christian roots and parents’ values, applying to the mill, receiving a good paycheck, facing daily danger in the mill, forming unexpected friendships, working and maintaining relationships with mental illness, gender equality, and an abundance of political opinions.
I appreciate memoirs, and the genre is one of my favorites. I love experiencing life from a different perspective. Even though I’m not at all interested in steel or the details involved with manufacturing steel, I’m interested in hearing about the everyday life of a steelworker.
The writing in Rust is honest, descriptive, and filled with emotional details. After we hear about her grit, determination, and bravery, we are left with a story of hope. The most inspiring aspect for me is her eventual ability to navigate family and romantic relationships and to handle work tasks and expectations with her mental health challenges. Her story is an encouragement for anyone facing similar challenges.
It did take a bit of time to get used to the timeline which jumped around a bit. Also, I found that the plentiful political commentary was a bit distracting from her story. Although I realize that one’s political ideology is certainly part of becoming an independent adult and differentiating from parents, the amount of it caused me to wonder if it might be her main reason for writing the memoir.
Overall, I appreciate her bravery, grit, and determination to live her best life.
Fans of memoir and readers who live near Cleveland, Ohio, who have worked with steel, live with bipolar, or have similar political views might especially enjoy Rust.
Trigger Warnings: rape, mental health (bipolar)
My Rating: 3 Stars
Meet the Author, Eliese Colette Goldbach
Eliese Goldbach is a steelworker at the ArcelorMittal Cleveland Temper Mill. She received an MFA in nonfiction from the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts Program. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, Western Humanities Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Best American Essays 2017. She received the Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Award and a Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant from the Ohioana Library Association, which is given to a young Ohio writer of promise.
I’m linking up today with The 2020ReadNonFic Challenge hosted by Book’d Out.
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