Saturday, August 3, 2013

Both Sides Now / Shawn Inmon with Dawn Inmon

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Memoir

Approximate word count: 70-75,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


“Shawn Inmon is originally from Mossyrock, Washington, the setting for his first book, Feels Like the First Time. He has been a real estate broker in Enumclaw, Washington for the last twenty years. Prior to that, he worked as a short-order cook, traveling T-shirt salesman, radio DJ, Cutco Cutlery sales rep, department store buyer, video store manager, crab fisherman, Kirby vacuum cleaner salesman, business consultant and public speaker. He is married to his high school sweetheart Dawn and has five daughters, five grandchildren and two chocolate labs named Hershey and Sadie.”

For more, visit Inmon’s blog.


“Every Love story has two sides.

Just as she was flowering into her teens, life uprooted Dawn from
the tanned crowds and sunny beaches of southern California. It
transplanted her into rainy, rural Washington, where she strove to
adjust, mature and thrive.

Love came to Dawn--and was ripped from her by events and
manipulations she could not control. But Dawn had a core of steel. An
emotional castaway, she battled grimly through life's trials and
sorrows, safeguarding her heart against further ravages.

Then love reached out to Dawn once more--if she could find the
courage and spirit to grab it with both hands, and this time, never
let go.

This is her story.”


Sometimes how events are viewed is a matter of perspective. That’s the premise of this book. I previously read and reviewed Shawn Inmon’s book, Feels Like the First Time, which was a memoir chronicling the story of his first love, Dawn, how they were torn apart, and how they eventually got back together decades later. Both Sides Now is the other side of the story, told from Dawn’s perspective.

Besides relating the same true story, Both Sides Now has much in common with Feels Like the First Time. In addition to stealing the title from a hit song of the era (Joni Mitchell or Judy Collins, for those keeping track), and chapter titles done the same way, this book is also written to read more like a novel than a typical memoir. I’ve heard recently about authors of fiction telling the same story in two books, revising the story the second time around to tell their tale using a different character as the protagonist. To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about this trend, but in this instance I wanted to know how Dawn viewed some of the events.

It’s a new experience to read a book that you not only know how it is going to end, but also know the complete story in some detail. I can imagine a reader who hasn’t read the first book might prefer hearing the story from the female perspective (either first or maybe exclusively). For me, I found myself comparing notes between the two, and got some insights into the female mind (a lifelong pursuit that is unlikely to ever be completed) as well as how misunderstandings between people happen. I’m also impressed by both Shawn and Dawn, in that they could easily be bitter about some of the events in their respective lives, but instead seem thankful for all the good things.

Rating: **** Four stars

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