Saturday, September 12, 2009

Review: Pieces of Ice by Timothy D. Bellavia and Kristin Walsh

Guest Review of Pieces of Ice: An Autobiographical, Tell-All, Picture Book by Timothy D. Bellavia and Kristin Walsh, written by my friend and avid book reader Bonnie Findlay.

(available on

Description from Amazon:
"Although (Pieces of Ice) has illustrations, simple language, and point of view seemingly through the eyes of a child, the reader quickly realizes that the book is not for a child. There are tales of humiliation, parental indifference, religious intolerance, an abusive lover, even a bout with skin cancer - all of which somehow ride the line between sadness and hilarity."

You see them in church. You see them at parent/teacher conferences. You see them on vacations. Them. THE PERFECT FAMILY. Maybe people think your family is THE PERFECT FAMILY. But is there such a thing as THE PERFECT FAMILY? In public most families put on their best behaviors to appear that way. Many families ARE loving and somewhat happy. But perfect? Of course not.

Timothy Bellavia appeared to belong to THE PERFECT FAMILY but looks can be decieving. He comes from a loving family, but misunderstanding, anger, and embarassment abound in Tim's book as he describes growing up an effeminate male and later "comes out" as a gay man. His protection mode? Freezing up his emotions, like "pieces of ice", freezing out whatever or whoever hurt or offended him.

At the same time, Tim is able to look back and write these anecdotes with a droll sense of humour that will make the reader smile, perhaps laugh a bit...reading about Draino had me giggling.

In the Epilogue, Tim writes, "Perhaps I have healed myself through this memoir, and maybe it will help heal others." He is a survivor. I see this book as a help to others-to help show them they are not the only ones-they are not alone.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATIONS: Tim messaged me: "Well, the illustrations were mainly done throughout my time in NYC. They date back to 1994 through the present time. I tend to take the sketch diary literally. Some of these illustrations are simple pen and ink drawings that were enhanced through photo collage. [Kristin Walsh and I] took pictures of textures on our cameras and popped them into place. Thus giving the book a feel of textures ... kind of like those old Ginn and Company basal readers from school."

*Review submitted by Bonnie Findlay*

Check out Timothy D. Bellavia's website, here.

Check out this Pieces of Ice Book video:


  1. This sounds like an interesting book. I agree that there is no such thing as a perfect family.

  2. I was wondering about the pink cover - but after reading your review it makes more sense. I haven't heard of this book before. Nice review.

  3. I loved your review Bonnie F. Timmy is a very special & brave person!

  4. That is so true....looks can be very deceiving. Great review!

  5. oh my... yes... how well I know "the perfect family. Very nice review. I am interested in this one.

  6. Bravo, what phrase..., a remarkable idea


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