My Ship Has Sails continues an autobiography begun in Through the Woods, is especially recommended for prior readers (who will gain a deeper set of insights into Mack's early years), and begins with a young girl who moves from a quiet rural life with her grandparents to an uncertain new world living in Chicago with busy entertainer parents who are away most nights.
It was a move that was to bring her into adolescence in the big city with parents who were nearly strangers to her - and a move that would shape the rest of her life.
But My Ship Has Sails isn't so much about the destination as it is about the journey, and it recounts the surging culture of 1960s America and its effects on her coming of age with the precision and immediacy of one whose love of music changed her life. Mack's gift as a wordsmith and musician shine in passages that capture the subtler nuances of both worlds: "They say that music is the strongest form of magic, that it is the language of the soul bringing people who would ordinarily be at odds into unison. That is what happened to us that night. There was no color, no status, no age. Just human beings having the gift of pleasure, which human nature cannot do without, showing us that where words leave off, the music begins."
From a supportive stepfather and parents who instilled in her the forces that would define and direct her life to the re-emergence of a biological father who would challenge her perceptions, Mack's ability to bring readers along for a rollicking ride through her youth and its defining moments makes for a sparkling, vivid autobiography that recreates not only her world, but that of coming of age in the 1960s: a time of great change and promise. Against such a backdrop, even the nature of 'family' is closely examined and ultimately transformed, making My Ship Has Sails a top recommendation for any who would enter another's life and understand it's most intimate, defining moments.