One Sip at a Time by authors Rita Grisman and Loralyn Mears
Thank you so much to Loralyn Mears for providing me with a copy of One Sip at a Time in exchange for this honest review.
One Sip at a Time is a self published memoir about Rita Grisman’s life as a feminist taking on careers, marriage, and life the only way she knew how. It’s written partly by Grisman and partly by Loralyn Mears. Mears is a friend who picked up finishing the memoir after Grisman passed away.
Grisman’s story involves being brought up during the Great Depression in what most would consider unimaginable poverty. Her family would sometimes go without food because they couldn’t even afford a small loaf of bread.
But she was able to persevere and with the help of her family she attended college and managed to succeed in the business world during a time that women rarely made it past the ranks of secretary. She even became Revlon’s first female Vice President, quite an impressive feat!
Included in the book are pictures of some of her favorite ad campaigns from when she was a 1960s copywriter. Just like the show Mad Men. Alas, she claims her experience wasn’t nearly as tantalizing as the show.
Her story is remarkable and it’s thanks to women like her that women today can even be considered as equals in the workplace. Although, still not every workplace unfortunately. More of these stories should really be told so that we can take time to appreciate our foremothers.
However, her stories are not all that remarkable when told in her own words on these pages. Honestly, she sounds like she kind of floundered a lot, quitting more jobs than I’ve ever had. And then just fell up the ladder of success by more luck than ambition. She even admits that she never fancied herself a pioneer or had any grand plan. It all just sort of happened.
Her anecdotes were likely far more entertaining over cocktails than they are here. They are probably good stories when told by a happy friend but in this book they all come off as rather average.
Additionally, the transitions in the book are clumsy and the chapters could really use more natural breaks. The book is divided geographically by where Grisman lived during various phases of her life and reads like a sort of checklist of events.
The book is earnest and heartfelt and I think that does go a long way. If nothing else, it is wholesome.
It’s a lovely tribute for Mears to complete and publish her late friend’s book. It’s clear that Grisman had many friends who truly loved and cared for her, she is obviously missed. To all the strong women out there I only hope you have a circle of friends to miss you as well.
3/5 cocktails 🍸🍸🍸
For another great female written memoir check out Becoming
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