“I managed to get my phone and started walking. I couldn’t die like this. Those two-second pauses felt like what I thought was death, and I wouldn’t go out without a fight. I was barefoot and shirtless and thought maybe I needed some fresh air. It didn’t register with me that it was twenty-nine degrees outside. I opened the door and walked outside in just my pants. As I made the call, some lady, who was bundled up from head to toe, stared at me as if I had lost all of my senses. She looked at my bare feet and bare chest and noticed how I was shaking as I was trying to dial the number.”
This scene provides the backdrop for one of the many battles that Bernard L. Dillard faces in Lemonade, a coming-of-age story, which highlights his persistence, faith, and triumph as he journeys toward the ever-elusive space called manhood. Exposed to the goods, the bads, and the uglies of Dillard’s world, readers can’t help but sympathize with, cheer for, and laugh out loud at a man, who is trying his best to find the most stable path that leads from boy to man. Written like a novel and presented in bite-sized chapters, Lemonade is indeed a page-turner.
Throughout these pages, Dillard shares the story behind his success. Through candor, vulnerability, and a tinge of wit, Dillard describes how he overcame his own sense of adversity. Although he has held many of these shocking details close to the vest, he now exposes past wounds in his own life with the hopes of encouraging others to succeed despite their own feelings of injury and loss. Simply, it is a tale of triumph and unmasks what happens when one learns how to win with the hand of life that is dealt.
In a nutshell, Dillard stands in life's kitchen, gathers his ingredients, and shows us what to make when all there seems to be is a basket full of lemons. (Memoir may not be suitable for those under the age of 18.)