Finding Me [Book Review] #NonFiction #Memoir

Finding Me by Viola Davis

Fans of honest, gritty, reflective, and transparent memoirs will appreciate Finding Me by Viola Davis.

Finding Me by Viola Davis (cover) Image: white text over a a closeup photo of the face of Viola Davis

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Biography, Self Reflection, Diverse Reads

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My Summary of Finding Me:

Finding Me is a poignant and compelling memoir by Viola Davis. From a life of poverty and hardship during her childhood years in Rhode Island to fame in New York City, Viola Davis is not a quitter. Through close examination of the most painful memories, deep reflection, and therapy, Viola Davis finds a life worth living.

My Thoughts:


The beginning of her story is especially traumatic and difficult to read. Every child deserves warmth, stability, and enough to eat. She suffered substantially because her circumstances included poverty and unfavorable living conditions. Her parents did the best they could do under the circumstances (which was not great), and I don’t think her neglect was from a lack of love as much as it was from a lack of resources. The beginning of her memoir focuses on her childhood and then quickly transitions to overcoming her childhood and establishing a career.

A Hope and a Future

Viola’s achievements are remarkable, and I appreciate her commitment to transparency while sharing her journey from poverty and painful memories to the person we see today. I can only imagine how difficult it was to write. The Viola Davis story will encourage readers who have endured similar circumstances.

The Spark

It’s interesting to me that many people who achieve greatness in one way or another, experience a spark in their childhoods which propels them to their futures. For example, Abraham Lincoln experienced poverty and deprivation, yet he had a feeling from a young age that he had something great to offer the world. Viola’s older sister questioned Viola about what she wanted to be. That question “What do you want to be?” planted a seed that there might be a way out of the circumstances that defined her young life.

The Choice

Viola’s fortitude and determination reminds me of The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger. Through sheer grit, relentless honesty, serious reflection, and courage, Viola works her way through the despair and trauma of her childhood and finds that she can love herself and have a life worth living. Our past doesn’t need to define us.

Recommending Finding Me

Although it’s a painful read, I’m recommending Finding Me for fans of memoir and honest/reflective writing and for those who appreciate transparent and inspirational stories.

If you an “own voices” reviewer please leave your review link in the comments.

My Rating:  5  Stars


Finding Me by Viola Davis (cover) Image: a close up picture of an African American woman's face

More Information Here

Meet the Author of Finding Me, Viola Davis

Viola_Davis_by_Gage_SkidmoreViola Davis (born August 11, 1965, Saint Matthews, South Carolina, U.S.) is an American actress known for her precise, controlled performances and her regal presence.

Davis was raised in Central Falls, Rhode Island, where her father found work as a horse groom at nearby racetracks and her mother took on domestic and factory jobs. Their income was frequently insufficient to support the family, and they endured grim rat-infested apartments and occasional food shortages. As a child, Davis began acting in school productions and theatre competitions. She enrolled at Rhode Island College, where she majored in theatre and graduated in 1988. She proceeded to the Young Peoples School for the Performing Arts in Rhode Island on scholarship before attending the Juilliard School, from which she graduated in 1994.

Photo From Wikipedia.


Is this amazing memoir on your TBR or have you read it?

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I purchase or borrow from the library all books I review unless explicitly stated that the book is free (arc)

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  1. Great review, Carol. I can see a lot of similarities to Cecily Tyson’s memoir that I read a year or so ago. I do hope to listen to this one, as she is someone that is a great role model.

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