An honest memoir of the demands of growing up in parsonage where the children had to model the ideal Christian family and “what will people in the church think” was an important inhibitor of conduct. The authors write about a life that is gone by, a time when women wore gloves to church and when school bullying was “the way things are.”
Bonus: Inside A Sugary Frosting, you will find a bonus link to photos from Martha’s family and her early life, and recordings of her amazing singing voice.
A Sugary Frosting reveals a side of being a Preacher’s Kid, a public role that is rife with challenges of supporting your minister father and your minister’s-wife mother and of becoming yourself. Herein are relationships portrayed honestly and sometimes not flatteringly. A Sugary Frosting, a phrase derived from Martha Blowen’s journals, is a memoir of surviving religious idealism and inherited belief.
Kynthia Rose –
Denis Ledoux’s ghostwriting in completing his wife’s memoir was a touching tribute to her memory and her family. Religion has played a large part in growing up for this family. A couple of the issues I found through provoking was how the mother worked hard to help her husband in providing for the family and yet, as we see in life today, was unable to fully be there for her daughter as the daughter felt she should have been there. Another was the fact that she was an unpaid working mom, the norm for many wives then. I like the way this story touches on how racism separated many from the church and the family did not stray from their own beliefs, even if it meant having to move on. I recommend this story to all memoir readers.
David Blocher –
I really liked this book. I am perhaps biased by knowing both of the authors, but I found the memoir to be an interesting view into the life of a PK or “Preachers Kid”. Growing up with several PKs and having children with PK friends, I am sympathetic to Martha’s childhood experiences. Both the internal family dynamics and the external expectations of a preacher and his/her family create an environment that is passing strange. Kudos to Denis for seamlessly finishing this story for Martha.
Leslie Williford –
If you have a heart and soul “A Sugary Frosting” will touch it. Denis Ledoux continued writing this memoir for his wife after she passed on. He writes as well as he listens and he is a listener! To his credit he payed attention to his wife enough to ghostwrite a memoir for her. That says a lot about a person.
Harikleia Sirmans –
Overall, I enjoyed reading Martha’s story. It was informative of the cultural norms in a parsonage over almost three decades; it reflected how parents can be overpowering to please everyone else but their child; it was depressing to know how Christian lifestyle suppresses a girl’s character and dreams; it reminded me of my young age and how teenagers’ interests conflict with their parents’ interests, when, the former try to find their identity and make sense of the world. The book will appeal to memoir lovers, and readers who reminisce the influence of their own parents in their lives.
Albert H Hanzal –
I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Sugary Frosting. While I am a few years older than Martha, I remember well my own conflicts of leaving behind the conformity of my parent’s generation and embracing the new social systems that were emerging in the 60’s. Martha’s story is in the setting of the parsonage but it is really the story of a one-generation giving birth to another generation of values and feelings. Dennis Ledoux has captured Martha’s personality and the conflicts she underwent as she grew into early adulthood. I wish that I could have met Martha in person. A Sugary Frosting is the story of an entire generation. I highly recommend it for those who lived through this period of history.
Milliardaire Syverain –
A Sugary Frosting is the coming of age story of Martha Blowen. This unforgettable story introduces us to young Martha who spent her girlhood in different parsonages, by turns resilient and intuitive, humble and temperamental and who finally found her own anchor in life.
leo benoit –
A Sugary Frosting by Martha Blouin and Denis Ledoux is appropriately titled. Most all religions be it Islam, Judaism, Christian, Hindu have as an ultimate goal to assist the individual to live a better and happier life with family, friends, and nearby communities.This memoir delves into the problems when religious zealots focus way too much on the message almost to the point of forgetting the people the message is intended to help. Frosting and little or no cake. When you are a child of one of these leaders, you can soon be forgotten for the sake of the message needed to be delivered. This memoir juxtaposes human values, beliefs, feelings, and often the serious lack of understanding of what a ministerial life should be. It puts to question religious tenants verses basic human needs. Life’s focus is often lost rather than guided. The proverbial saying “ the tail wags the dog” comes to mind and is illustrated over and over again in these memoirs. We see a child’s thirst for affection and the isolation that results when focus is lost by the very ones that are trying to “make it happen”. All religious leaders should take a moment to read these great observations. Well delivered Denis!
Kathleen Pooler –
In writing Sugary Frosting: A Girlhood Spent in a Parsonage, Denis Ledoux has honored the life of his late wife, Martha Blowen. Through her own words, he has not only crafted a story of her life as a “preacher’s kid” but has revealed the story of another generation. We, the readers, are invited in vivid detail into Martha’s life and the times in which she lived. This memoir is a labor of love.
Marjorie, Easy Walks in Massachusetts –
This memoir is compelling, both in the story of its writing, and in the storytelling itself. A poignant picture of being the minister’s daughter and the challenges that role brings to an impressionable girl’s life. I read this in one sitting.
joyce garofolo –
I thought that the people in this story did a fabulous job overall through all the ups and downs of living in that era. I also liked that the author shared the struggles and misunderstandings that go on in all families which I believe makes this book reach across the generations and may be enjoyed no matter what age one grew up in. The lessons are timeless.
Viga Boland, author No Tears for my Father –
Adding to the interesting stories about what it was like to grow up as a Minister’s daughter at a time where religion influenced everything from social gatherings to doing what’s considered “nice”, are the many photos included in “A Sugary Frosting”. I enjoyed looking at those as much as reading how Martha smoked pot in her room and tried to cover up the smell with incense. Such disclosures make this minister’s daughter just another kid on the block, even if she lived on acreage on a hill. She’s real; she’s human. And for a memoir to succeed, readers do need to identify with the protagonist.