Glimpses of Barb Godin—A Book Review

A Long-time Voice Contributor Publishes a Memoir of Her Early Life.

Voice writer Barbara Godin recently published her second book.  Glimpses in Time:  A Collection of Memoirs and More, is a compilation of stories about Godin’s childhood, family, and relationships.

In the style of North of Normal by Cea Sunrise Person, and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Glimpses in Time traces Godin’s life as she struggles to overcome a childhood marred by neglect and instability, and emerge as a thoughtful and loving wife and mother and talented writer.

Godin is a long-time contributor to The Voice magazine, penning the ongoing “Dear Barb” column and the “Women of Interest” series.  But her most poignant writing appears in the articles she has written over the years about her formative years, personal tragedies, and relationships with various family members.

Glimpses in Time is an accurate description of Godin’s memoir collection.  Each piece gives a snapshot of Godin’s life.  From camping trips and family pets, to childhood neglect and devastating accidents, Godin shares illuminating glimpses into the pieces that make up her life.

The memoir pieces are grouped under several headings, and you’ll want some tissue handy for the Grief section.  That section open’s with “Mary’s Story”, chronicling Godin’s sister Mary’s last troubled years before her death.  Previously published in The Voice, “Mary’s Story” went on to become winner of Best Short Article in the Professional Writers Association of Canada‘s 2019 writing awards.

Several of the pieces were previously published in The Voice, but there is plenty of new material, too.  Godin infuses each piece with the emotion of its time, and also the dignity that decades of hindsight provides.  It is almost as though, by writing, Godin enabled herself to come to terms with unsettling elements of her early life.

In her memoirs, Godin describes her precarious upbringing.  With Godin’s mother often absent and distracted by her relationship with an abusive boyfriend, Godin and her siblings were shuffled off to various relatives.  Godin emerged from her often-troubled childhood to become an often-troublesome teen.

Some pieces, however, demonstrate that the turbulent clouds of Godin’s youth gradually made way for some blue-sky moments.  Her memoirs end, fittingly, with a group called Inspiring Stories.  Most of these pieces are from Godin’s adult years, and illustrate how ably she has overcome the challenges of her early life.

Included in the book are several of Godin’s original poems and short fiction pieces.  The book concludes with an excerpt from Godin’s upcoming autobiography.  From the opening chapter included, Godin’s autobiography will knit all the “glimpses” together and fill the spaces between.

Glimpses in Time is available in paperback and ebook formats.  Godin previously published Dear Barb: Answers to Your Everyday Questions, a selection of Dear Barb columns from The Voice magazine.  More information on Barbara Godin and her latest book is available on Godin’s website at

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