Sheffield is a writer for Rolling Stone Magazine, with a long career in reviewing pop culture and music. Love is a Mix Tape is a beautiful memoir about the romance and untimely death of his wife Renee.
I really enjoyed this sweet little book. It already had two things going for it when I started reading: 1) I also lost my spouse while we were both still young and 2) given Sheffield is the same age as I am, our tastes in music overlap. He’s right that music becomes a memory – and I really enjoyed getting to know Rob, Renee and their relationship through his listing of various “mix tapes” they made during the years covered in the memoir. I even found myself going to Amazon Music and searching for the songs I was unfamiliar with – since it was obvious Rob and Renee had great taste in music.
It’s funny. When my late husband and I were dating, I introduced the idea of the mix tape to him. I made him a tape that reminded me of us, and the happiness and excitement of our relationship. He had never heard of doing such a thing, but quickly embraced it, in turn, sending me mix tapes. (We lived in two different countries, so between times being together, we sent each other tapes). I had no idea other couples did the mix tape thing as well. I can’t help but feel an affinity to Rob and Renee. Had we run in the same circles, we would have probably been friends.
Rob’s writing about the sense of loss of self you feel when a spouse dies was very real. I totally understood his initial paralysis, his desire to talk about Renee and his struggle to get through those difficult years. What made this book so special to me, was that it was a tribute to Renee. The mix tape metaphor, and expressing the essence of this woman and their love through music, is a beautiful way for people to remember her.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2007
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