Reading UNLOCKED: A MEMOIR OF FAMILY and ART (SheWritesPress) was quite enjoyable. I haven’t read any memoirs lately, just fiction, so it was pleasant to change genres. Author, Nancy Pressly is diagnosed with pancreatic-related cancer and it’s a seminal moment for her to look back at her life, but also ahead.

It’s a very personal memoir that examines her determination to fully understand her family’s history. Once diagnosed she goes up to the family attic and there she discovers a treasure full of history and love stories about her family, which she never knew before. The book is divided into three parts which examine her childhood, college years, marriage, having a baby, career which faces challenges and so more. Finally its about Nancy coming to terms with the future assisted by a higher power.

I appreciated her research and ability to really learn intimate information about her family. I yearn to do the same thing about mine (without the cancer), because I don’t know much.

There were times when I confused because I was bombarded by information. She could have broken up the book with more chapters and I believe her editor could have cut some out to make the story tighter. Maybe I experienced that because I’ve been reading fiction.

UNLOCKING made me miss my grandparents terribly and also want to read more memoirs. I also like the cover design. It would be a perfect book for book-clubs.

I have been fortunate to have enjoyed a varied career in the art museum world: as a curator and scholar; as assistant director of the Museum Program at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C., where I held a high profile administrator position helping to set policy; and as President of Nancy L. Pressly & Associates, a nationally recognized consulting firm specializing in strategic planning for art museums. My clients included some of the nation’s most important art museums. I was fortunate to be able to travel extensively, gaining an invaluable overview of museums nation-wide.

Married to an art historian, my husband and I have lived abroad and traveled to Europe frequently for our work, learning early in our careers that is was essential not only see original works of art but also the context in which they were created. Travel has continued to be one of my great pleasures, and in the past ten years we have taken some of the best trips of our lives, mainly to Europe, but also to places like Morocco, where we had never been. These trips, no longer respites from work, took on a whole new meaning for me and became essential nourishment to my intellectual life and inner self. Art has always been profoundly important to me. In recent years there has been a new intensity to the way I absorbed what I see, not only works of art but also cityscapes and archaeological sites which are my great passion.  Occasionally I have what I call aha moments, where something I have seen before suddenly comes into more brilliant focus or emotionally resonates in a new way. I retain the experience long afterwards. Some of these experiences inspired passages in Unlocking.

In retirement, I continue to write and travel and, for relaxation, I am an avid cook and passionate gardener and now, living in Georgia, even grow peach trees. Recently I took up ceramics and discovered the joy and challenge of making objects. I cherish my time with my husband and helping our son care for his two wonderful children.

Thanks TLC Book Tours we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us the most interesting book you’ve read about art. We’ll chose a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

#TLCBookTours #Unlocking #NancyLPressly #Giveaway #SheWritesPress

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18 thoughts on “UNLOCKING by Nancy L. Pressly – SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY CLOSED *

  1. I read so much that I know I’ve read books with artist characters. Currently I am reading The Art of Remembering by Laura Kemp. Dance is the artistic background and very interesting.


    1. I hate to be “that person” but to avoid confusion… Alison Ragsdale wrote The Art of Remembering and Laura Kemp Wrote Evening In The Yellow Wood. ❤️😀


  2. I have read alot of books, but I don’t remember reading one that had art in it. This book sounds like a great read , Thank you for sharing about it and about the author. Have a Great weekend.


  3. The Ruby of the Sea by Peggy Lampman had a main character that suffered from Mental Illness and was a gifted painter. The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr and The Art of Remembering by Alison Ragsdale also had elements of art as a part of the emotional healing process and I really appreciate that in a story. When my life is in upheaval I am able to center myself better if I can get to a place where I can create with my hands. Thank you for the opportunity to receive a copy of what I think is a beautiful book.


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