Book Review

Mostly Sunny, Partly Dramali In Between

By: Willmarine B. Hurst

I can see clearly now the rain is gone. It’s gonna be a bright sun shining day. Jimmy Cliff

Dr. Lisa Green-Derry is a wife, mother, grandmother, motivational speaker, scientist, educator, published author, teacher, and ordained minister.

In Mostly Sunny, Partly Dramali In Between, Green-Derry reveals “tidbits and snippets” of her life as a ‘NOLA BRAR” native (New Orleans, Louisiana Born, Raised and Returned).

From early childhood to teen mother to mature wife, distinguished minister, and philosopher of sorts, Green-Derry details little snippets of  her life with humor and heartache, with invisible scars and visible change, with fond memories and resolved traumas, and with a renewed spirit and zest for life.

 “Many of the ‘Dramalisades’ (the dramas of Lisa) are recollections of my life and others in my circle of influence. Others are compilations of writings done at various stages in my life.”  Green-Derry says the title comes from her former pastor, Rev. Dwight Webster, who would always reply “Mostly Sunny,” when asked how he was doing.

In Mostly Sunny, Green-Derry challenges you to rethink, redirect, and relearn how you process or have processed events, actions, and activities in your life.

“If you read with a willingness to unlearn, relearn, and expect something better, provocation may lead you to forgiveness, increased confidence, and strength to make plans for living your best life, while helping others to do the same,” she explains.

Growing up – The Front Porch

Growing up in the seventh ward of New Orleans, Lisa recalls fond memories of “the front porch at 3922 Buchanan Street.” The front porch was where she spoke to neighbors and played with her friends. Her front porch was also a window to the world beyond her house, into the streets, and across St. Bernard Avenue to the St. Bernard project/public housing complex. It also provided a view to the nursing home and porch where her grandmother lived.

“The front porch was so important that while pretending to not listen to what the grown folks were saying, we [children] sat below them on the steps,” reveals Green-Derry. The front porch was almost like a de-facto class. Green-Derry muses about the “jewels of wisdom” that came along with the gossiping and other such conversations on the ‘front porch.’

All Grown Up – Reality Hits

There are some stark contrasts and realities that Green-Derry speaks about, including trying to be a wife and mother while finishing college. She tells of a relationship gone bad; the heartache of losing her parents, and the devastation and destruction of Hurricane Betsy and Hurricane Katrina. Along the way, she discovered the power to speak truth and healing into her own life.

Healing Visible and Invisible Scars

            A guide to self-help, forgiveness, and a road map to navigating the pitfalls of mental and emotional unresolved trauma, Mostly Sunny is a first aid kit for the human spirit.

“A desire to resolve my pain, diminish unhealthy coping mechanisms, intermingled with success and strength. Unresolved trauma drives all of them.” That is one of the reasons for writing the book, Green-Derry explains. She wants the book to be a healing tool.

Overcoming and Renewed Life

Mostly Sunny is divided into five parts. The last part offers feedback from people who responded to her discussion on Post Traumatic Stress(ed) Daughters, (PTS (ed) D). After each chapter, there are questions she wants readers to consider. Forever the consummate teacher, Green-Derry writes about her coronavirus pandemic experience to share the impact of the virus on her life.

 “It is a thought catcher,” says New Orleans native Vivian McFarland of Mostly Sunny. “It made me look back on how I made it through.”  Lora Carmicle of Clinton, MS says Green-Derry “showed that everyday events can be used as prompts to explore personal healing.”

Green-Derry’s book meanders through her life and of those who have been a part of it. In no chronological order but Part One has a ‘jump off’ point  in “I Am Because.”

“The essays are lyrical, poignant, and nearly poetic prose,” says David Harrison of Ridgewood, NY. “The stories are honest, memory is stimulated; the struggles are real. Her healing is transparent, and the love is laudable.”

Mostly Sunny is an easy read but a very insightful and soul-searching book. It provides a sense of hope and healing. Linetta Gilbert of New Orleans, says, “Mostly Sunny is a testimony to how one can thrive throughout her/his life.”

If you’ve ever had or still have any unresolved issues, any lingering pain, any trauma in your life that you have not faced, then you might find that Mostly Sunny is just the book that you need to read!

Willmarine B. Hurst is a freelance writer in New Orleans. She can be reached at

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