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REVIEWS & MORE: The Triumph of Rosemary: A Memoir


 L. C. Henderson reviewed The Triumph of Rosemary: A Memoir 

Poignant memoir of how a biracial female District Court judge overcame discrimination and abuse 

November 26, 2018

The law is seen as a formidable profession by many, offering ethical dilemmas aplenty, but it is also a field that attracts the finest minds and spirits of the nation. Such a one is retired longest serving chief judge of Detroit's 36th District Court, Judge Marylin E. Atkins, whose insightful memoir provides fascinating details of a biracial woman who managed to emerge from an abused background to become a loving mother of two highly gifted girls, whom she managed to put through university after the death of her husband, former Roman Catholic priest Thomas Lee Atkins, twenty-five years her senior. Atkins’ chief attributes, apart from her faith in an omniscient and omnipotent God, are her undaunted spirit and her determination to overcome the odds, even when they all seem stacked against her.

The prejudice and discrimination that Atkins has had to overcome in her lifetime would have discouraged many less doughty souls to give up the struggle to live life as they saw fit, in accordance with a set of high principles and a powerfully moral, yet not moralistic, outlook on life. Her deep-seated commitment to forging the best way forward not only for herself, but also for those whom she has loved, and, in many cases, whom she continues to love, should serve to make her a prominent role model for others who have also found adversity threatening to impede their way forward, whether on the domestic front or in the workplace.

The Triumph of Rosemary: A Memoir is amply illustrated with black-and-white photos of Atkins and her family throughout their life, which amply illustrate the joy and camaraderie that radiate therefrom. Likewise, the portraits well illuminate the measured tone and cadence of the text, which has an integrity all of its own. Atkins’ use of subheadings throughout the chapters helps direct the reader along the path of the straightforward chronological narrative, which leaves no stone and obstacle unturned and inspected from afar as the author, at the age of 71, regales us with the rich and deeply poignant tale of her personal evolution from adopted child to one of the most prominent legal figures in Detroit’s history.

Truly, The Triumph of Rosemary (which, by the way, is the name given to her by her adoptive mom) is a work well worth reading, and Atkins’ fluent writing style does much to complement her story. An ideal choice for any enlightened book club that is interested in coming to grips with the mores of a changing society in the second half of the twentieth century, this heart-searing memoir should elicit many a memory of past challenges brought about by living in a society that struggled, at times, to come to grips with its own multicultural diversity.

Lora Weingarden reviewed The Triumph of Rosemary: A Memoir

This is a terrific read!! 

August 15, 2018

This is a terrific, unlikely story, written so well. It will make you laugh and cry! It will teach you about overcoming obstacles, setting goals, attaining them, and setting more goals. It's a great love story, and a story about parent/child relationships. It's a quick, easy read and is truly heartwarming!

S. E. Thomas reviewed The Triumph of Rosemary: A Memoir

Judge Atkins has given the reader uncensored access to her amazing, challenging and triumphant life 

June 3, 2018

After purchasing the book I sat down to read and did not stop until I was finished except to go to sleep and eat. I read the book in one day and found it to be well written, insightful, dramatic, tearful in places but always inspiring and uplifting. Judge Atkins has given the reader uncensored access to her amazing, challenging and triumphant life, from her birth to an Italian mother and African American father, her adoption, her marriage which challenged the social mores of the times, to her rise to become the chief judge of the 36th District Court in Detroit. She was and is a warrior and her book tells a story that is well worth the read.

brownkat reviewed The Triumph of Rosemary: A Memoir

Triumph indeed!!! 

March 10, 2018

Loved reading this life story of a fellow Saginawian, so inspirational! Her story reinforces my belief in believing in yourself and trusting that God has a plan for your life. Great read!!!

Paula L. Cole reviewed The Triumph of Rosemary: A Memoir

A story from the heart and soul 

January 31, 2018

What a fascinating story of a woman who overcame much diversity in her life. A young woman falling in love and marrying a man who gave up the priesthood. Raising 2 successful and beautiful bi-racial daughters after his untimely death. Her memoir is beautifully written and you can tell she writes from her heart and soul. What a brave lady to share her story with us.

Greg & Sarah Hooper reviewed The Triumph of Rosemary: A Memoir

A beautiful baring of the soul. 

December 29, 2017

A chance encounter with Marilyn,at Costco of all places, allowed me to receive a signed copy of her book hot off the presses. Her story is raw and honest and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. Many thanks to Marilyn for such a beautiful memoir.


November 15, 2018. The Triumph of Rosemary: A Memoir Reviewed By Lois C. Henderson of

November 12, 2018. Enjoy this article and video about Idlewild, Michigan, where Marylin’s family built a cabin in the 1950s. Special Report: The Forgotten Paradise  Courtney HunterZach Razminas

May 15, 2018. Marylin and her daughters had a book signing at  Book Beat  in Oak Park, Michigan.

May 15, 2018. Marylin and her daughters had a book signing at Book Beat in Oak Park, Michigan.