"GLOBAL MOM: Eight Countries, Sixteen Addresses, Five Languages, One Family," by Melissa Dalton-Bradford, Familius, $17.95, 294 pages (nf)
Melissa Dalton-Bradford is not a typical soccer mom.
While performing as a soprano in a major New York City musical in 1994, Bradford received a phone call that altered the course of her family’s trajectory for the next 20 years. When her husband is offered a fabulous new job, Bradford, her husband and their two small children are piloted to Norway and the start of an adventure that spanned the globe.
Bradford’s memoir, “Global Mom: Eight Countries, Sixteen Addresses, Five Languages, One Family,” is a colorful construction of experiences which speckles her family timeline as they follow the job to Norway, Paris, Munich, Singapore, Hong Kong and more. Learning to cope with culture and custom while trying to create the feeling of home for her family became Bradford’s constant challenge.
Her stories wind their way into every aspect of life. From the distinctive experience of giving birth in two European countries and fighting with government officials over her son’s given name, to tackling pressure-provoked preschool spitting fits and numerous language-generated misunderstandings, Bradford’s memoir touches on everything universally parental while flavoring the tales with a unique foreign edge.
Born and raised in Utah and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Bradford’s local ties run deep. Her connection to the LDS Church kept her grounded no matter where her family was planted. Local Mormon ward members became instant friends and mentors as she traversed unfamiliar languages and traditions. However, family is at the core of every piece this book has to offer.
While her everyday escapades paint a stunning picture of life in an international household, her experiences are not all peaches and cream. In this book, Bradford also delves into the most dour and severe moments that her life has to offer, including the death of oldest son. Her descriptive style dredges a painful hollowness that is nearly tangible as she shares her darkest memories.
Bradford’s writing is flowery and detailed which creates an airy buffer around the core of the story. This can be distracting at times, but the heart of the work is poignant and beautiful. The book is a series of family oriented snapshots that frame the life of a loving and determined global mother.
Bradford is scheduled to speak at the upcoming annual Women International Network Conference in Prague, Czech Republic this October. Here she will speak to groups of women from every corner of the world about loss in a session titled “When Crisis Hits: One Woman's Story of Tragic Loss, Feminine Resilience, and Living Onward With Grace."
Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City, Utah. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org and she blogs about her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.