At the end of January this year I had the pleasure of interviewing Boyd Lemon about his upcoming memoir and his life as a writer. To read the interview, click here. Boyd was gracious enough to allow me to read and review this insightful book and share my thoughts with my readers.
I’d like to start with a disclaimer, I don’t normally read memoirs. The few I have read I found hard to connect with. I am pleased to report that “Digging Deep” does not read like a typical memoir. In fact, I had to remind myself every few pages that this was not a piece of fiction. Boyd, for that alone you are to be congratulated!
The book is a collection of experiences from his marriages paired with his insights learned later on through the process of several writing techniques that force the writer to “Dig Deep.” Through writing, Boyd discovers his role in the collapse of his marriages as well as volumes about himself.
This is the official book blurb, which does a great job of capturing the tone and quality of the book and author:
Life Begins at 70
After a stellar 40-year career as a top and nationally recognized attorney in his field (Time Magazine called him first after Martha Stewart’s conviction of insider trading), Boyd Lemon followed a deep calling, and began the life of an artist as he neared retirement age. Following his heart led him to face a painful past, and re-invent himself as artist and writer. The journey as artist began in the idyllic coastal town of Ventura, California, then on to the venerable literary, music and art scenes of Boston, and finally to living the dream life of many an artist, a
Bohemian year on the Left Bank in Paris, with a final few months in the hills of Tuscany before returning back to California.
Once Lemon started writing, his passion, combined with years of discipline as a professional, gained the notice of world-renowned writer and teacher, Natalie Goldberg, who invited Lemon to her prestigious year-long workshop for writers in Taos.
Digging Deep is a memoir about Boyd Lemon’s role in the destruction of his three marriages. This is a journey to understand one man’s role in marriages that ended in divorce, confusion, bitterness and blame. The Pearl has been the journey of the writing, for the writer himself, and the peace that writing has brought him. Lemon lived on the cusp of the moralistic generation that grew up in the 1940s and 50s and the next generation that embraced sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, as well as equality and independence for women. The transition rocked all pretenses of his working class upbringing. The writer’s hope is that revealing the path of his own struggle to clarity and peace leads others to their own awakening, as so many modern couples and individuals deal with understanding and defining the new order in relationships, as well as facing their own past.
Boyd has managed to do what so few have dared, he has put his soul on paper to such an extent that I’m surprised that the text is not written in blood. There is an element of sheer honesty in his writing that resonates deeply with the reader. While reading about Boyd’s experience the reader also is allowed to examine their own relationships and see if perhaps they are coming short.
I know that’s what happened to me. While I have always enjoyed a very stable relationship with my spouse there is the fear that maybe I’m doing or perhaps not doing something that bothers him. Learning what made this man tick, what his needs were, and how they were or were not being met helped me understand my spouse and his needs better. It also reinforced the absolute necessity of engaging in positive and meaningful communication between husband and wife.
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn about how to make a relationship work, anyone coping with divorce, and anyone in the process of writing their own memoir. I will warn readers that because this is a very frank and honest memoir Boyd does share several sexual experiences.
Excerpts and more can be found at Boyd’s website:
Boyd’s other sites: