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Norma Jean's Sun

3.15  ·  Rating Details ·  53 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
This newly edited release of Norma Jean's Sun will certainly exceed expectations. The story is not only convincingly true, but will rivet the reader with its genuine and unassuming pathos. Norma Jean's Sun is painfully reflective yet ultimately hopeful, a story told through the eyes of a boy who believes he has been mistakenly born into the world and a man who has conquere ...more
Kindle Edition, 292 pages
Published (first published April 15th 2009)
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Jan 29, 2013 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading this book and I'm emotionally exhausted. I actually know the author because we are alumni of the same high school and have acquainted ourselves on Facebook. Reading this book took me back to places that have been relegated to my long ago past. Although we didn't share many of the same experiences, there were some tangential lines that not only could I completely relate to but I relived as I read his words. He is an artist and he writes like what I would expect an artist t ...more
Aug 24, 2009 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a little while to finish this book. It was a heartfelt loving story about family and life. If you like those things you would like this book.
Giddy Girlie
The author has a very interesting story to tell as he recounts his family life beginning with his grandparents and on through his own adult life. However, I think he focuses a bit too much outwardly. Based on the first maybe 50% of the book, it seems that the author is intrigued with his family history for one small reason: his grandparents were also cousins. It was/is taboo and caused some friction within the family and in their small town. The author spends a good deal of time detailing their ...more
Cherie Atkins
Jan 23, 2015 Cherie Atkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I couldn't put the book down so I read it in one sitting. Would I recommend it to my friends? Yes, definitely!! I identified three stories in one. First there was the history of the family. I enjoyed reading about life in small town middle America during the middle of the last century. Family secrets are always intriguing, as are family tragedies that serve to derail life as the players know it. Those tragedies, along with an apparent predisposition to alcoholism, set the stage for much of ...more
Sharon Bressen
Nov 16, 2010 Sharon Bressen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Norma Jean’s Sun
By Kris Courtney

This e-book was received from the LibraryThing Member Giveaway program in exchange for a review.

This book tells the frank story of the consequences that occurred when cousins ignore common sense rules and marry. The author is the son of such a family. Knowing it was wrong to be married; his grandparents (who were cousins) ignored society and followed their hearts.

Fearing the outcome of this forbidden love, every member of the family dreads the birth of a new chil
Note: I received a free copy of this book via Goodreads' "First Reads" program.

The memoirs of Kris Courtney, an American artist born with several physical limitations that set him apart as an outsider growing up in middle-of-the-century rural America.

It's not the most complimentary of memoirs - Courtney spares no details in outlining how both his physical differences and family difficulties led him into a descending spiral of depression and substance abuse.

It's clear from reading it that Courtne
Mar 21, 2011 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a labor of love. It covers a man's life gone horribly wrong - the author's. It is an example of how history can repeat itself. The story begins with an abusive step father, and cycles forward. Many times a person is able to rise above his situation, to varying degrees. Clearly, this is not one of those examples. In this regard, it is a painful reminder of human weakness. At the end, you wish for some redemption, but there is none. Of any change this novel may wish to impart, it is h ...more
Aug 05, 2009 Krissy rated it did not like it
The reason I am only giving this book one star has nothing at all to do with the story. It has to do with the writing style, which I just couldn't get into at all. Honestly, not to put myself down or anything, but it almost seemed too smart for me, if that makes any sense. Well, maybe not smart, mature would be a better word. It seems like the kind of book my mother or grandmother would enjoy reading. So I feel a little bad for rating it this way, and I hope the author understands my reasoning. ...more
Feb 12, 2010 Merrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Although seemingly going in depth, this book covers a very long span of time and frequently skims along the surface, touching lightly on events and time frames with little explanation and detail. Perhaps because there was so much subject matter to explore. I felt like I was missing something because there were often huges gaps in time. And the reflections stuck out of time in the middle of things were sometimes distracting. I must give the author credit, however, for laying a clearly painful lif ...more
Judy Lee
Jan 16, 2015 Judy Lee rated it it was amazing
Very well written story of the tapestry of lives within a family.

Join Mr Courtney on his journey of how families and the people they connect with become interwoven throughout the years. This is a story of strength and sheer will power overcoming the physical and emotional bricks that are handed to us as children, what you build with them are the choices we make as we continue in this life.
Mike Decamp
Dec 29, 2012 Mike Decamp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a heart-felt and honest look at one individual's own life, a life of extreme physical difficulty and family strife followed by internal pain and a fog of chemical self-abuse. Through all that mess, he emerges on the other side to be a man of integrity and purpose. I think most of us could find some part of ourselves in the story, and maybe, just maybe we can hope to better understand the pain of another man's personal demons. Thank you Kris for sharing your story.
Diane Pollock
A fascinating instospective history. The story is compelling, that of a deformed child and his family. There is much that is good here, but the style is somewhat offputting. While his mother is the apparent focus of the tale, she never comes clearly into being...most of my impressions are of the author, his anger and depression. Too introspective, but yet still worthwhile.
I received this book through Goodreads First Reads giveaways. I was really rooting for the main character in this book the whole time. I kept hoping the author Kris Courtney would over come his insecurity's in life and triumph in the end. It really kept me turning the page to find out what would happen next. I loved all of the characters involved especially Flossie.

Eloida Rodriguez
Oct 26, 2014 Eloida Rodriguez rated it liked it
A bit depressing

I can't say that I really enjoyed this book. It didn't really flow well in the beginning but it improved a bit after the first few chapters. I think the writing could have been better but overall it is a good book, just a bit sad though.
Megan Hansen
This is a memoir that bounces from tragic to inspirational then back to tragic. I couldn’t get into the writing style myself, but the effort put into each chapter was obvious and many parts were beautifully written. If memoirs are your thing, you won’t regret picking this one up.
Oct 08, 2010 Gloria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully written memoir portraying the true spirit of motherhood and the triumph over life's hardships and suffering for her son.
Kris Courtney
Dec 24, 2009 Kris Courtney rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Author: Kris Allen Courtney

This newly edited release of Norma Jean's Sun will certainly exceed expectations. The story is not only convincingly true, but will rivet the reader with its genuine and unassuming pathos. Norma Jean's Sun is painfully reflective yet ultimately hopeful, a story told through the eyes of a boy who believes he has been mistakenly born into the world and a man who has conquered physical and emotional injustice--and come out ahead. The reader will be challenged to answer th
Oct 02, 2009 Stephanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
UPDATE: I just finished this book last night. It's the author's story of his life, his disability and his family. I have to be honest - I didn't like this book. The author defined himself too much by his disability, and not enough by his hopes and dreams. And he didn't protray himself as a very likeable person. He abandoned his children, cheated on his wives, abused drugs and alcohol and leeched off of his family. I think this was his attempt to mitigate the damage he caused to his family throug ...more
Jan 01, 2010 Carissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a book that I won from the Goodreads first reads program, but it wasnt all the enjoyable. The writing style was poor and it was hard to follow who the characters were. Overall, the book was pretty depressing. The author had an extremely challenging life and even though it appeared as if he had people who loved him and cared about him, he threw it away to become an alcoholic and drug addict.
Mar 17, 2013 Tabitha rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my, where do I begin? The author's self-defeatist attitude sickened me, and he was so focused on emphasizing what a horrible person he is, blaming it all on his disability...speaking of which, from his description of himself, it seemed like he was this horribly disfigured being, and I'm sorry, but he's not. I have known people more disfigured than him and they weren't all woe is me....they made something of themselves. they didn't let their disability become an excuse for atrocious behavior.
Apr 06, 2010 Kristie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, won
I am sorry to say I was not able to get through this book. The premise of struggle and hardship was of interest to me. I very much wanted to read about this person, however the poor grammar and structure of the book made it very hard for me to get through.

I would be happy to pass this book along for someone else to read and review.
Angela rated it really liked it
Jan 25, 2014
Sue rated it liked it
Jul 01, 2015
Deborah rated it liked it
Oct 23, 2013
Trina rated it liked it
Sep 04, 2009
Win Powell
Win Powell rated it liked it
Apr 19, 2016
Kathi rated it liked it
Jan 06, 2013
Glenda rated it it was ok
Aug 16, 2014
Cheryl Ledwidge
Cheryl Ledwidge rated it really liked it
Feb 01, 2016
Maureen rated it really liked it
Aug 24, 2009
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A life of difference 5 13 Jul 25, 2009 12:18PM  
Passing Through, what a trip ...

Norma Jean's Sun Memoir ( Based on a True Story ) "A Wonderful commentary on the very things that make us all human" "Brave honesty of confession, makes the book unique" "Touching story, full of hope" The story is not only convincingly true, but will rivet the reader with its genuine and unassuming pathos. It is this kind of brave honesty of confession and growing p
More about Kris Courtney...

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“The morning opens, a mist of innocence appears across the countryside that tells each one of us the day is new. That feeling of hope, love and the humble awareness of our duty becomes clear if even for a moment. It is that experience of inspiration that follows us into a small town woken by a cool frost on this Sunday morning and the laughter of children playing.” 22 likes
“I recount as this journey begins where I rest to gather the tale from this
same old house resting on the hill, leaving me a view of a carnival once seen from just across the tracks. My pallet is dry now. The colors I see no more. The rain has washed away many of the signs that once stood for a prosper
home and family. My grave is waiting. The dreams once filled my head with
images of world unison, hope and companionship for all. The saga spoken
through my canvas drew darker as the years went on to the bitter cold nights.
All that comes to me now are glimpses of faces that graced my soul.”
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